Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2007/Candidates/Kate/questions
|2007 board elections|
Are you Christian :)? 126.96.36.199 12:22, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
- It's irrelevant. Please don't guide your vote based on this question. --188.8.131.52 09:49, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Last December, the Wikimedia Foundation revised its bylaws to change itself from a membership organization to a non-membership organization. In a membership organization, the trustees are directly responsible to the membership; in a non-membership organization, the trustees are ultimately responsible only to one another (and indirectly to donors, who presumably will not donate if they feel the trustees are not being responsible). Do you feel that the Foundation, constituted as it is as a non-membership organization, provides sufficient structural checks and balances to ensure that the trustees observe their fiduciary responsibilities appropriately? Would a return to a membership structure, with the ability of members to bring policy proposals themselves at the annual meeting or by other methods, to remove board members by appropriate vote, and to sue the Foundation under certain conditions limit the ability of the Trustees to do what they need to do? If you do support a return to a membership structure, how would you determine who the voting members are? Kelly Martin 01:32, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- I opposed the idea of membership when it was first introduced, and I do not think it should be reinstated. I understand the need to hold board members accountable for their actions. However, board members were elected to do a job, and should have the ability to do that job with mimimal hinderance.
- Having said that, I think clearer channels are needed for communication between the board and the community. Often a board decision will be misinterpreted, or simply objectionable, and cause conflict that could have been avoided if there had been more discussion beforehand. The comcom should have a more prominant role in interaction with the community, and there should be a clear channel for the community to offer complaints and other feedback to the board, and for the board to respond.
- I think the board's decision making process should be more transparent, and the community should be consulted before changes which affect them are implemented. Ultimately, however, the board should have the final decision in how the Foundation is run. Kate
You on your statement: (...)I will return the Foundation to its core purpose: publishing a user-editable encyclopedia on the Internet. I will support relocating or shutting down non-Wikipedia projects.
Because that affirmation is so much alike the parody User:Notacandidate from the last year election, please, elaborate on it. Why Wikimedia need to develop only a free encyclopedia? What are your impressions for the Wikimedia Commons? As a system administrator, the MediaWiki software need also to not more developed by the Wikimedia Foundation? 555 04:17, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- Firstly, I don't oppose the other projects because I think they have no value. I would expect that all of them could be transferred to other organisations who would be a lot more dedicated to them than the primarily Wikipedia-oriented Foundation is. For example, the "OmegaWiki" / "WiktionaryZ" / etc. people seem to have a much more appropriate model for running a free dictionary than we do - MediaWiki is quite unsuited to Wiktionary's needs, and the project has not been well thought out (many people believe it should be a single multi-lingual project, for example). Rather than divert the resources of the Foundation to solve these problems, we should seek to find them new homes where they can flourish.
- I believe MediaWiki is primarily the software which runs Wikimedia projects, and I expect it to remain so in the future (since several core developers are employed by the Foundation). However, I don't think MediaWiki should be a Foundation project, and I don't think the Foundation should have control over it. I think the current MediaWiki model, where core development is aimed at Foundation projects, but reasonable effort is made to support other users, works well.
- I oppose the idea of Commons as a general free repository of images or media. Again, such a thing is better served by other organisations. However, I think the idea of a free media repository specifically for our projects is probably useful. (However, it might be worth exploring partnerships with other organisations instead of duplicating their effort.)
- Finally, the reason I think Wikipedia should be our only project: because "it's enough". I accept that a free dictionary, a collection of source documents, etc. are worthwhile goals. However, Wikipedia is already a pioneering project which has made a large impact, and will remain so for a long time. I believe it to be an important project, both because of the end result (a massive repository of free knowledge), but also because of the process - an example of how Internet collaboration can produce amazing results. To support these things, I think an organisation which is tightly focussed on the project is required. Splitting our limited resources over so many other projects detracts from Wikipedia, and from those projects, which are constantly overshadowed by Wikipedia.
- I believe that separating the other projects will be beneficial for both them and for Wikipedia. Kate
- Don't you think it will be hard to work constructively with the Board when all the existing Board members presumably support non-encyclopedia projects under the WMF umbrella? (Given the acceptance of the mission/vision statements) Don't you think the thousands of editors on the non-encyclopedia projects indicate that the Wikimedia community believes those projects are appropriate under the WMF umbrella? All the non-English Wikipedias are also overshadowed by English Wikipedia. Do you think WMF should limit itself to the English Wikipedia only? --pfctdayelise 05:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- I don't think this will prevent me from working with the other board members. Of course, I would oppose and argue against decisions I don't agree with, such as creating new projects. However, I think I'm quite capable of working with other people even when I disagree on some issues.
- I think the fact that other projects have achieved some measure of success demonstrates that those are worthwhile projects, not necessarily that they are currently being run in the most suitable way. I think many of them would be much more successful, with thousands more contributors, elsewhere. Certainly the Wikimedia Foundation brand, and the MediaWiki software (made famous by Wikipedia) contributes some amount to their success, but I think the end result is negative.
- I don't think non-English Wikipedias are distinct projects in way the other projects are. The end result and basic process is the same, regardless of what language the project is in, or what local policy differences exist. Kate
- How many organizations you think there are that are willing to host the sister projects and provide the same support that Wikimedia is providing? and shouldn't you instead of saying MediaWiki isn't capable/suitable for maintaining other projects beside Wikipedia..that you analyse these said defects and try to fix them?
From which the contributers will come if another organization took a project? they won't appear from no where..I think Wikimedia is a front for free content and Wikipedia provides (may provide) the best promotion to the sister projects..how many organizations are willing to host that many languages?
MediaWiki should always be developed by the foundation to ensure that it satisfy the needs of the projects..not making a software then the foundation uses..the projects needs, the software fills..the other projects just needs time to develop, writing a book is harder than writing an article..harvesting public domain content takes time..anyway..good luck..
- Yes, improving MediaWiki is certainly one option. However, this would be a strain on our (limited) resources, and the end result may be inferior.
- For an example of a successful non-Wikimedia project, look at Wikitravel. It's certainly the sort of thing you could imagine the Foundation hosting; but it's a completely separate project, and yet it's just as successful as (or more successful than) some of our projects. I'm not at all sure that the Foundation brand affects a project's success that much.
- I haven't looked in detail at what other organisations might adopt the projects. Of course we would need to do a lot of research before considering this.
- And yes, of course projects take time to develop; Wikipedia didn't start out as successful as it is today. Could Wikibooks become as popular as Wikipedia, or even surpass it? Certainly. But the Foundation is hindering that development, not helping it. Kate
Along with this thread and thought about how you would deal with the non-Wikipedia sister projects, how would you deal with the other sister projects that you havn't mentioned so far, such as Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikiversity, and Wikinews. Wikisource in particular could be seen in a supportive role with Wikipedia in terms of watching over and maintaining original source documents that compliment Wikipedia articles.... yet you advocate the elimination of this project along with the rest. Wikinews and Wikiversity are both quite a bit further from writing encyclopedic articles yet they both have positive contributions to be made to the study of human knowledge under a very different framework from Wikipedia.
My ultimate question is this: If you are successful in not only gaining the board seat, but in also succeeding with this goal of breaking up the sister projects, how would the legal structure be set up to deal with these non-Wikipedia projects? Are you advocating the creation of separate governance boards for each sister project (aka the Wikibooks Foundation, Wikipedia Foundation, Wikiversity Foundation, etc.) with eventual separation of server services, or are you suggesting a complete shut down of the sister projects, and the participants on those other projects to fend for themselves in some other fashion?
If the WMF is broken up into independent governance boards for each project, would you support coordinated fundraising for all the projects still or would you encourage each project to go off in its own direction?
Ultimately, in appealing to the "voters" who are regular participants on these sister projects and only spend a minority of their time on Wikipedia... if at all (there is a surprisingly large number of people who do this), why should we vote for you if you want to throw us out with the bathwater while we are still trying to get established (especially for Wikiversity)? --Roberth 22:41, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Since you propose shutting down the sister projects, would you also support reimbursing monies that were donated in their names. Particulary the $10,000 paid to support Wikijunior. Would that money be reimbursed and used to help fund a new foundation for that project? What about donation monies originating from projects other than Wikipedia? Also, I second Robert's question. How do you envision the transition? --Xixtas 16:07, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
- I stopped editing the English Wikipedia mainly to devote more time to sysadmin/developer tasks, which I find more interesting than editing. (There are also many more editors than sysadmins :). I still edit sometimes, if I see something that needs changing. Yes, Meta is the only "project" on which I edit actively at the moment. Kate
In what way do you forsee the office (and staff) evolving under your tenure as a board member, should you be elected? i.e. would you be in favor of expansion, contraction, status quo, more interns, new positions, less, what?Swatjester 01:05, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
- In general, I support paying employees (whether full or part time) to do work requiring particular expertise (the Executive Director and the Grants Coordinator are good examples of this). I strongly believe in the need for a well-organised, coherent management and operational infrastructure, which should again be managed by experienced staff. (Not that I think we should have a lot of useless middle management; I think this could be achieved with a small number of employees, maybe one or two). Our current situation seems to have been a result of the board being indecisive about what role staff should play, and having no definite plans for expansion. Rather than have the board decide the details of how this should work, I would propose consulting with business experts.
- I think the board should assume more of an oversight role itself, and delegate most of the actual work (such an implementation of resolutions) to the staff, while keeping the ability to intervene if it feels its intent is being misinterpreted. Board members should have a good vision of what direction the organisation should be heading in, what the community wants, and so on. However, the ability to manage the details of that vision is not, and should not be, a requirement of board members. Consequently, the board should not be trying to do these things.
- I am less certain about expanding our quota of interns and other less experienced employees. In general, I think a better return on investment can be gotten from experienced professionals.
- To fund these additional positions, I would advocate significantly expanding our funding strategies. I could forsee a job position somewhat between the grants coordinator and the business developer, whose job it would be to find funding from both charitable sources (such as grants and donations), and corporate interests. Of course, any corporate support would need to be done in a way that doesn't conflict with our goals.
- Some people have talked about forming a separate, for-profit organisation which would participate in commercial ventures and donate its earnings back to the non-profict Foundation. I think this idea is definitely worth exploring, as it could perhaps generate a lot of revenue. Kate
- Who would you suggest to investigate the rampant tax problems with that? Also how familiar are you with the operation of and directorial management of a 501(c)(3) organization? Swatjester 14:50, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- Also your second to last paragraph seems to imply......a grants coordinator. Seeing as grants are not the most sustainable long-term income source, what other options would you suggest, and how would you use the business developer (Vishal)?Swatjester 14:50, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- Finally, you don't seem too fond of interns. Why not? How do you feel about the foundation's past and current use of interns, especially in the legal and financial departments? Swatjester 14:50, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Ads, branding, business dev., GHGs.
- In what way will you vote for ads on Wikimedia sites?
- flash/banners/graphics in skin whitespace or at bottom
- company logos in site notices
- prominent text ads
- company names in site notices
- text ads in skin whitespace or at bottom
- opt out
- opt in
- only for a huge amount of money
- only during budget emergencies
- only if more editors support it
- I can't say how I would vote until more research has been done. I certainly think we should explore what we might gain (and lose) from advertisements. We can't make an informed decision on the matter until we have some data to work with. Dismissing the idea out of hand seems foolish and short-sighted to me.
- Regardless of that, however, the community's opinion on advertising is certainly very important, and should be taken into account. (Losing half our contributors because we added adverts is clearly a large loss!)
- What are your thoughts on Wikimedia branding?
- I think the "Wikimedia" brand is weak compared to Wikipedia. Even companies we deal with frequently get our name wrong (e.g. "Wikipedia Foundation", or even "MediaWiki Foundation"). If we did transfer ownership of the non-Wikipedia projects to other organisations, I would support rebranding the Foundation as the Wikipedia Foundation.
- In case we don't, I would support keeping the existing brands. Althought I thought Erik's proposal of renaming them to "Wikipedia Sources" etc. had some merit, I think in the end these are distinct projects, and combining them all under the Wikipedia brand would merely confuse people.
- What are your thoughts on the foundation's hiring of a business developer?
- As I wrote above, I support the idea of exploring corporate and business funding opportunities. However, I'm not sure "business developer" was the right role to create to achieve this purpose, particularly as an intern position. I think we need to consider our funding, both charitable and commercial, together, and decide what we need to do, before we start looking at business development. I think the ED should have been appointed first, and had a say in this decision, although I appreciate that with Danny's unexpected departure, the need was more urgent than we would have liked.
- How would you vote on the board about the foundation reducing or offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gases, e.g. power used by hardware, flights, etc.?
- I have no strong opinion on this matter. In general, though, I would opppose such changes if they cost us a non-trivial amount of resources (money, time or otherwise). I would be willing to change my opinion if someone could demonstrate a convincing case for it, but so far I haven't seen one. Kate
Why haven't you been confirmed as a candidate yet? Anthony DiPierro 13:26, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- I already verified my identity to the office (I was required to as a sysadmin) - but as I entered my candidacy over the weekend, no-one from the office was available to tell that to the election committee. Hopefully I should be confirmed on Monday. Kate
- I would like to add that Kate has made all reasonable efforts to meet the confirmation guidelines. The fact that Kate is not confirmed should absolutely not reflect upon the candidacy. Philippe 05:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC), Election Committee Member
"I will explore additional funding sources besides user donations, such as grants, sponsorship and advertising"
That means, you are for advertising? Marcus Cyron 14:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- No, it means I'm not against advertising. We should keep an open mind wrt funding, and investigate as many sources as possible. Even if we eventually decide that advertising is not the right way for us, we need more information before we can make that decision. Kate
- OK, thanks. Marcus Cyron 17:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Communication with communities
Smaller communities in my experience can have problem drawing attention of the Board to important community issues where Board input is really necessary. Do you recognise such needs are currently left unanswered, and what could change to let the Board process such requests?--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:07, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation is growing at much faster rate now than ever before. We are trying to establish ourselves as a stable, mature, international non-profit organization. What type of organizational and management skills can you offer that will benefit the foundation?
Also, our advisory board (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Advisory_Board) is filled with experienced and competent professionals. The foundation can benefit greatly from their expertise and knowledge in various fields. Currently, their involvement in the foundation seems limited, how can you change the system to utilize their expertise? Do you think the advisory board should have more influence on decision-making? Vpatel 15:15, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Your userpage on the English Wikipedia states that you are on infinite Wikibreak. However, your candidate statement mentions that you participate in the english Wikipedia. Could you please elaborate on that? Effeietsanders 18:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- I wrote en.wp there as it's the wiki where I was most active. Nowadays I rarely edit (maybe one-two a month), but it's still my home wiki. Kate
- I imajin that opposing expension into physical media other than hard drives is daunting, but it's the only reason she's getting my vote if I can figure out where to rejister it. Supporting my attitude is that important questions and answers will find their way into the wikiwork, somewhere, despite editors with opinions, ajendas, and sponsors. It won't necessarily see print due to lawyers, sponsors, ajendas, and opinons. I bet she also supports rating articles with one number. Keeping things simple is the hardest job I can think of. 184.108.40.206 11:19, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Religious Picture Ban – Muhammed (Islam) versus Bahá'u'lláh (Baha'i)
Islam is a religion which don't want to see/show pictures or images of the founder Muhammed. Baha'i is a religion which don't want to see/show pictures of the founder Bahá'u'lláh. Wikipedia in most languages show respect for Islam and don't show Muhammed. But Wikipedia in most languages show a picture of Bahá'u'lláh. Wikipedia show more respect for the picture ban in islam than it show for the picture ban in Baha'i. What do you think is the cause for this and do you think that Wikipedia shall treat religions equal? Caspiax
- Propose striking of this question: That was a community decision that had and has nothing to do with the board, nor Kate, further the text of the question is misleading. Swatjester 15:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
What do you think of the idea of stable versions, article validation, and WP: 1.0? For example, see w:Wikipedia:Flagged revisions. Do you think the board has any role in this or do you feel it is a strictly local issue? Thanks. Voice-of-All 06:45, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
- Article validation / stable versions is a significant change in how the wiki works, so either way, board approval should be required to implement it. But, if the board approves its use in general, I think whether each project should use it should be a local decisions - its appropriateness would depend on many things, such as the scale of the project at the time.
- I think the idea is interesting, and could solve several problems; I'm interested in seeing a working implementation, and it's probably worth testing it on a real wiki. Only after that would I feel comfortable giving a definite yes/no about its use.
- WP 1.0 is a separate issue. I think this is a very good idea, and something we should pursue. (Even if "stable versions" doesn't work out, presumably the same framework can help a lot with this). For people redistributing our content in less volatile forms (such as print), it's important to have something of known good quality to work from. Kate
Splitting sister projects from Wikipedia
Hi Kate/River. First a small question, do you to be called Kate or River? :) I find your ideas about "returning to the core purposes" very interesting. Say that you'd be able to convince the future board that Wikipedia is indeed hindering the development of the sister projects, as you wrote above, what do you want with those projects? Do you think splitting of a separate Wikipedia Foundation to solely focus on Wikipedia would be beneficial? Or would you rather find an already existing organization to take over the sister projects? Thanks, Bryan 15:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
- I don't mind which you call me :)
- I would prefer to find established organisations who would be willing to adopt our current projects, if possible. If that isn't possible, and there is a sufficiently active community, I think it would be reasonable for the Foundation to help new organisations get started running those projects. Kate
- Do you think we have projects that are mature enough to be run under their own Foundation? Bryan 11:48, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Non-free images and other media
What are your opinions on the use of non-free images and media on Wikimedia Foundation projects? Should they be used at all, or disallowed completely? And what do you think about the 23 March board resolution on this issue? Is it sufficient, too much, or does not go far enough. Thanks. Zzyzx11 18:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
From time to time there has been discussion about whether the Foundation's current headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the United States, is the best location for the office. Do you think that the Foundation should continue to be headquartered in and operate out of Florida, or would you support a move to another location? If you think a move is appropriate, where would you move the Foundation to, and why? Kelly Martin 21:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
- I have read the GFDL. I have not looked at the SFDL yet. I'll see if i can find a moment to examine it... Kate
By nature and design, wiki communities are an amateur, unstable amalgam of widely differing perspectives and agendas. There is no individual or collective responsibility and no competence test for participation. Yet, the board of the ever-expanding and legally constituted foundation that runs one of the world’s top websites, needs to be highly professionally, highly competent, collectively coherent and responsible. It must have business savvy, and be willing to make hard-nosed and even unpopular decisions. In your opinion:
- Is the current board, vision and structure fit for that purpose?
- Are you? (Would you be a competent candidate for a board in any non-profit venture?)
(same asked of all candidates)--Doc glasgow 14:44, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Chapters
Taking into account the growing importance of Wikimedia chapters in furthering our common goals on the one hand and the impact the decisions made by the Wikimedia Foundation have on the work (if not existence) of the Wikimedia Chapters on the other hand: What do you think about the idea of giving the chapters a formal say in WMF's decision making process? What do you think especially about a) letting the chapters appoint one or more board members (beside the ones elected by the community) and/or b) changing the WMF back to a membership organization (with the chapters as members)? Do you have any other ideas to achieve more checks and balances between Foundation and chapters? On top of that, would you care to elaborate on your vision about the current and future role of the Wikimedia chapters? Thanks in advance, Arne (akl) 15:40, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Project policy involvement
What are your views on board involvement in writing and implementing policy for the various projects, especially in controversial areas where it appears that community consensus will be difficult to establish, such as on the "attack sites"  and biography of living people (BLP)  issues? Cla68 15:51, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
What would you do/recommend when elected and faced with 40% budget deficit? Absolwent 18:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Cash & users
We need money and people. We have lost users (for a while) after this event. Nobody expected it, but... the same was in 2006. Do you want to talk about money (with these wealthy guys) and what's your opinion about that event ;)? Przykuta 11:58, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
- AFAIK, this story was fabricated by a reporter who misinterpreted something Anthere said. She has since denied that she meant that. Our financial situation is much better now than it was in previous years; the gap between the hardware we need and what we have is much smaller, and as a result we have more money to spend on peripheral activities (such as running the office properly). I think this is only likely to improve in the future, but we still need to make more effort to raise funds, and not become complacent. This is one of the things I would push for if I were elected. Kate
- I know that story of course :) but problem is with PR. A lot of newspapers have written about Wikimedia's failure. Could we do it without "bad" press relase? What can we do to improve it? Przykuta 13:32, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews and Accredited reporters attending events
Wikinews may be one of the lesser-known projects, but we recently managed to get a contributor entry to the G8 conference. Efforts were made to get the Board involved in the drafting of a letter for the reporter's entry to the G8, but these received no response. As an involved party there is more about this issue on Eloquence's questions page . What is your opinion on this, it is - I believe - an issue the board should take seriously. Those of us who contribute on Wikinews are ambitious enough to think that we can overtake the Wikipedia article count (although I may be retired before we manage it there are new news stories every day). As we really want to be able to do truly original reporting we need people who can "almost" say they represent us. Do you support this, and do you believe the board should have been involved for something as important as sending a reporter to the G8 conference? --Brian McNeil / talk 21:11, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
- I'm not sure how relevant this question is Brian, seeing that her goal is to shut down Wikinews. Still, if you would like to respond to this question officially, that would be much appreciated. I want to be assured that I have not misread your position. -- Zanimum 20:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation at a corporate level is soaked in its own drama and if conditions don't improve soon, it will crash and burn. I want the newly elected trustees to act as catalystic mediators to simply and peacefully transform drama into productivity and then success for the foundation. How do you plan on doing this? —Signed, your friendly neighborhood MessedRocker. 06:06, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
This is a mass question being posted to all candidates. A couple days ago there was a proposal to hold an all candidates debate on IRC at a time TBD. The planning page is at ElectionDebate07 - please indicate if you are interested and if so, a time that would work for you. -- Tawker 22:58, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Which job are you seeking?
You state in your platform "I will ... such as hiring additional technical employees" then "I have been a MediaWiki developer". Aside to the fact that a Board member may not be employed by the Foundation, there appears to be some conflict of interest here. Could you elucidate please. Additionally, your platform makes no mention of any relevant experience to running a major organisation; please detail what experience you have in the running of corporate organisations, specifically regarding their finance, management, marketing, and human resources. --Alison Wheeler 11:54, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Most Wikipedia users are technically inclined, but usability studies have turned up serious problems for non-geeks, and many of these problemsd remain uncorrected.
Have you read these usability studies? Do you consider them to be important? Would you commission more such studies? How would you implement their results?
Here's an example from just a couple months ago: a journalist working for a major newspaper thought that "there's no way to tell who wrote the entry or how many people contributed to it" until one of his readers corrected him -- he works for the media! How many regular people know how to check an article's contributors? If i might be permitted to opine for a second: the fact that you can view the revisions of an article should be obvious from the design of the webpage, but it's not: "history" is a terrible, non-obvious name for the function.
Put yourself in your parents' shoes: you're reading a page about Thailand that you found through Google, and you see a square that says "history". You click the square expecting to read about the history of Thailand and suddenly you're faced with a long, mysterious list of nonsensical words and numbers. You click the back button. Aaron Swartz gave one of the best summaries of the issue that I've seen:
"The page design the site uses encourages specific actions by making some links clear and prominent. Software functions like categories make certain kinds of features possible. The formatting codes used for things like infoboxes and links determine how easy it is for newcomers to edit those pieces of the site.
All of these things are political choices, not technical ones. It's not like there's a right answer that's obvious to any intelligent programmer. And these choices can have huge effects on the community.
One presentation was by a usability expert who told us about a study done on how hard people found it to add a photo to a Wikipedia page. The discussion after the presentation turned into a debate over whether Wikipedia should be easy to to use. Some...questioned whether confused users should be allowed to edit the site at all -- were their contributions even valuable?
As a programmer, I have a great deal of respect for the members of my trade. But with all due respect, are these really decisions that the programmers should be making?"
How would you solve this problem?
Tlogmer 00:08, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Danny Wool has proposed replacing the current board with "a professional board consisting of captains of industry and academia" -- presumbaly, web leaders and information academics, etc. Do you agree? What do you think Wikipedia can learn from, for example, professional writers of paper encyclopedias like Britannica? How should the foundation best recruit their advice and put it into practice? Tlogmer 00:08, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Appropriate conduct for Board members
Recently, in a non-Mediawiki forum, Erik Moeller made the following comments: "Cyde's and Kelly's arguments are on the same level: they are driven by blind hostility, not thoughtful analysis."  Do you believe that responding to criticism of one's credentials and conduct as a member of the Board with personal attacks such as these is appropriate for a member of the Board of Trustees? Kelly Martin 00:54, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikiquote & copyright
What's your stance regarding Wikiquote and copyrights? As it is, most wikiquotes depend and use extensively fair use, which is contrary to the philosophy of most other projects. What are your views on this? Should wikiquotes move to only free content? Should resolution on fair use have a special exemption for wikiquote? Should fair use be removed from Wikiquote after deadline for the resolution? drini [es:] [commons:] 16:06, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Database live mirroring
Dear Kate, give your considerations please about bidirectional live mirroring of the Wikipedia database. What technical problems would it reveal, are Wikimedia admins' aware desynchronisation abuses? Best regards, Incnis Mrsi 20:15, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi, as this seems to get closer to the time that the elections are to start, I thought it would be best to go ahead and attempt to get the unofficial IRC debate a time and a place. By the time analysis on the talk page, the best time for the debate appears to be 1800 UTC, to 1900 UTC. As it would be best for this debate to occur before the elections, June 27 was chosen as the day. I know that this is short notice, but the whole unofficial debate thing was on a very short notice to start with. I hope that you are able to attend. Again the time is 18:00 UTC, June 27, 2007, it will be held at ##wikimedia-debate. Please do note that this debate is unofficial, and you are not required to attend. —— Eagle101 Need help? 20:38, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Donors and scope
Asked of all candidiates: Okay, I'm not naive so yeah, it follows that large donors will probably get some pull when policies, direction and the scope of the foundation get decided, but what's your take on it all? How far do we bend to satisfy our donors, and to what extent are ideals of the foundation non-negotiable? In five years say, would you expect the foundation to still exist in the same legal fashion as now and assert ownership over the assets it currently has? Steve block 20:44, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
What do you do when faced with a difficult decision to take ?
I saw in the recent irc debate the following question. Would you support releasing the state of the foundation's finances quarterly? Why or why not.. Of course, making such a decision is a matter of board-level policy. Now, the job of the board is also oversight. So, let's imagine the hypothesis that the board made a policy for quarterly release, the staff was asked to provide the statements according to the policy... and in spite of this, the report does not come. As board, you are embarassed. First because the policy is not respected. Second because the community is complaining. And third because, with no financial statements, there is no oversight possible. Please imagine you are facing this situation, reminded the staff once, then twice, then three times, and still no report.
What do you do ?
|“||I oppose the idea of Commons as a general free repository of images or media. Again, such a thing is better served by other organisations. However, I think the idea of a free media repository specifically for our projects is probably useful. (However, it might be worth exploring partnerships with other organisations instead of duplicating their effort.)||”|
Hi! I generally like your ideas even if they sound somewhat radical. Could you elaborate a bit your position on WikiCommons? Like what specifically are you going to (or want to) do with it? Could we be sure that it will remain wiki-based, have the same licencing policy, its materials be easily accessed from Wikipedia itself? Commons' contents (unlike the contents of some other projects) constitute an integral part of Wikipedia and in my opinion the Commons, as a media repository for Wikipedia, should be managed by the same organisation. en:User:Alaexis 07:19, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
fund raiser and chapters
do you support to facilitate fundraising by offering a direct link to country specific donation possibilities? an example woulde be medecins sans frontier's donation page. in wikimedia's case the donation page for the year end fundraiser would contain flags, and the links behind the flags would go to the donation page of local chapters, for two reasons:
- local law (which donators know and can make use of) strengtens donators feeling, that their donations are used at their will
- local tax exemption allows to donate up to 50% more without paying more
--ThurnerRupert 12:01, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The committee system has been around for roughly a year and a half now, not counting previous initiatives. Several of the committees are now dormant and some never got off the ground. Some, conversely, have done fairly well.
I know this is a long-standing and groan-inducing topic of debate, but what is your view on the committee system? Do you have ideas for reviving the current committee system or making it more functional? Do you think there is a place in the Foundation, in theory at least, for community-based committees to do some of the day-to-day work or oversee certain areas? Who should the committees report to, ideally? Are there new committees that should be formed, or old ones to be reworked?
Sorry about posting my question(s) so late! -- phoebe 00:29, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
In order to "reduce our overhead to a bare minimum", I propose the deletion of wikipedia. In this way, the others projects will be able to grown with no difficulties. Thanks. Marc 09:37, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia, being one of the ten most visited sites in internet, has some negotiation power. I believe we should be able to use this power in order to increase both the freedom and quality of the encyclopedia. In example, the board could contact copyright holders of promotional images (places, objects, models, singers, bands, etc), and convince them to release their items under a free license. I have been doing this myself, but I believe the Board could have better chances than a single person, a WikiProject or even a Wikipedia project. What do you think, do you think this could be a priority? And good luck! -- ReyBrujo 18:36, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you more inclusionnist or deletionnist ?
The question is in the topic.
I am asking these exact same questions of you and all your opponents so I can make an apples-to-apples comparison.
- Do you think the Wikimedia Foundation should invest in stocks and bonds so that it has a source of income if donations dry up? If so, should its investment strategy be active or passive, diversified or focus, value or growth?
- Do you think the Foundation's spending on travel and conferences before it has a long-term source of income is responsible?
- Should some of the Foundation's major financial decisions, such as expansion of the paid staff, be subject to referenda of the editors and donors?
- The oversight function -- where edits are hidden even from admins -- has legitimate uses, but the potential for misuse is Orwellian. How can abuse be avoided?
- Do you believe control over Wikipedia content policy should ultimately rest with the man who created the skeleton of the site, or the editors who create its flesh and blood and/or their elected representatives?
- What is your position on freedom of expression in the User namespace?
- Where U.S. copyright law unfairly impedes Wikimedia Foundation projects, should the Foundation lobby for the law to be changed? If so, how should it do so without spending money it can't afford?
- To what extent is Wikipedia yet reaching the developing world, and what could you do during your term to speed that up?
Seahen 05:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews and building on an unexpected publicity opportunity
As I would hope you have seen, Wikinews has made a splash in the news as the original non-blog source for the story of a prank edit to w:Chris Benoit's Wikipedia page. Our Alexa rating has skyrocketed, Google news has hundreds of articles that mention - or cite - us. I had planned to sponsor a Writing Contest on Wikinews following these elections - but this seems like too good an opportunity to miss. I've asked a few people to contribute to the prize pot, but most of our local contributors don't have the spare cash.
- First question, should we do things like this - we've had other competitions in the past and the daily article count has gone up significantly.
- Second, are you prepared to put your money where our projects are and donate to the prize fund?
- Third, if you are prepared to donate to the prize pot would you also be prepared to help out as a judge? I feel the impartial position the board should strive to take day to day would be welcome in defining rules and judging a competition.
International Symbol of Access
If elected, would you act to remove the Foundation's ban on the use of the International Symbol of Access and International Symbol for Deafness outside the scope of fair use? If you are unfamiliar with this issue, it boils down to the fact that these symbols may be freely used for their intended purpose but are extremely unlikely to be released under a free license. Because they are internationally recognized symbols, no free equivalent could be created to replace them. There would be no legal risk to either the Wikimedia Foundation or to downstream users if we were to use these symbols in infoboxes to designate handicapped accessible metro stations, Disney rides, etc. I'm not asking for permission to use them in userboxes or the like. I just think that the current Foundation-level policy of lumping them into the "fair use" category is quite detrimental our goals.
There is actually general consensus to make this change on the English Wikipedia. The only thing standing in the way is the Foundation's policy. —Remember the dot 04:00, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
On English Wikipedia, there has been some controversy about whether it is, or ought to be, the policy that linking to so-called "attack sites" against Wikipedia and Wikipedians is to be banned. Some administrators have (overzealously, in some others' opinions) removed links to criticism sites from such places as talk pages, evidence pages for ArbCom cases, and even in a few cases from actual articles where they were being used as a source. I wrote an essay on this issue. What is your opinion? Dtobias 04:01, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
How will you deal with this...
Whenever I can not find the specific answer to a question in an article I turn to Wikipedia help. In many instances, however, the reply is devoid of thought or knowledge and merely a student's guess to fill blank space on the page as if to say: "Here is my guess. I've done my job. You have received my authoritative response."
Do you think, we should work on a better editing program, involving a rectification system, similar to the Windows one for example, [the Microsoft Word]), which can easily correct many orthographic and constitutional errors and make our edit’s trouble-free? Or you keep non-native speakers under second party supervision. Thank you and Good luck. naseem abi shaheen 01:05 4 July 2007
How to deal with consensus of uninformed editors
Sometimes a popular opinion is contradicted by scientific evidence. Majority of editors stick to the popular opinion (which is also theirs) and vote to delete all pages that contradict their opinion (intrinsic weakness of democracy). As a result Wikipedia propagates old prejudices. How would you solve this problem?
Supporting evidence for the problem: Once I wrote several pages on Einsteinian physics (I'm just doing my PhD on it) and all of them were deleted by consensus of editors (9:1) who preferred their old high school physics :-). Unfortunately their high school physics was invalidated about 100 years ago by Einstein. Yet till today one can read as the first statement of Wikipedia's Gravitation: "Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which all objects attract each other". According to contemporary science objects don't attract each other they just look like they do. Similarly as the Sun looks like running around the Earth while it doesn't and there exists a simple explanation in both cases. So I just explained the simple Einsteinian mechanism of this apparent attraction, since I thought it may be interesting to Wikipedia's readers. All those pages were deleted by consensus of editors cooling my enthusiasm for Wikipedia. So the issue of propagating old prejudices, because of democratic process involved in editing, seems to be very real in Wikipedia. JimJast 13:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
- Hi Kate, Fight for your candidacy at least by answering questions. We don't need to many men with their (biologically conditioned) one track minds in this oranization so we should support you but for this we need to know what are your opinions on issues like the one above and the others that you didn't answer yet. JimJast 06:50, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
- P.S. I'm ashamed of being sexist but I can't help to think that this planet were a better place if more women (who are biologically structured to use both halves of their brains) were controlling it...
how will you deal with transparency and corruption
how come that some admins in wikimedia can take over and block other users at their own will? More than one year ago the wikimedia world seemed nice to me. By edit count I was quite high in en:WP. But then the first out-of-policy block came in (3RR violation, but I only did 2RR). Then the next. And so it went on and on. Blocked for blanking a user page (this blanking was based on prior agreement with that user), blocked for moving "Eisenkappl" to "Bad Eisenkappl", admins directly lieing to me "I have a checkuser at hand that confirms you used socks" - it turned out there never was a checkuser. And I never used socks. ... On and on. I collected evidences, they got deleted, just because some admin in the middle of a discussion decided to do so. This deletion even did not show in the deletion log.
I asked at ComCom about transparency and corruption handling - this was directly deleted, with claim that it does not belong there (ComCom task page says otherwise). I called the Foundation where Danny shouted at me, hang up the phone in middle of talking, talked in hebrew etc.
What can a normal editor do to stop admins abusing their rights? - Tobias Conradi
Majority biasing the facts
- 12:33, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
it is an increasing frustration to me that a supermajority of wikipedians has apparently decided to defend their common view of the world as the only truth. All minority views are blocked. This goes so far as to not allow facts, which are acknowledged to be true, on article pages when they are seemingly at odds with this view. This tends to make the articles POV and destroys the knowledge and hard work brought together by many, many editors in this unique enterprise. It makes wikipedia a very unreliable and biased source of information. Subjects are e.g. terrorist attacks. Will you make an effort to change this trend? It is imortant to us that the guidelines are upheld fairly and equally, and not just to defend a single viewpoint.
How to attract authors who know facts (e.g. from the scientific literature) and could pupularize them dispelling cultural prejudice about those facts but don't have time to waste on fighting misinformed editors. Those editors unconcsiously push their popular, and therefore already generally accepted, POVs (since brain, being a perfect antibody, automatically rejects any new idea) deleting the new pages by those authors. Those editors always prevail since they have much more time than those authors. How would you address this issue? JimJast 17:27, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Who Writes Wikipedia?
Late question: do you have any thoughts on this essay (and if so, what)? It suggests that Jimbo formed a radically false picture of anonymous users and their contributions to Wikipedia. This may have far-reaching implications. Dan(pedia) 21:22, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
A Fairer Voting System
Would you support the use of choice voting in the next Board Elections?
Choice voting protects majority rule while providing for the fair representation of minority views. Voters rank the candidates 1, 2, 3, and so on, in order of preference. If your top choice either is not elected or already has enough votes to win a seat, your vote goes to your next choice. No vote is wasted, and all viewpoints are represented. Choice voting would drastically reduce the number of wasted votes.
Choice voting can be used for single or multiple position elections. It is used for national elections in a number of countries including the Republic of Ireland. It is also used by a wide variety of organsations such as students' unions, charities, trade unions, universities, hospital trusts and housing associations. Choice voting is already used to elect the board of Nominet UK.
Choice voting is also called preference voting or wikipedia:single transferable vote (STV)
John Cross 16:59, 7 July 2007 (UTC)