Chapters meeting 2010/Documentation/New chapters

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New chapters 4:00 PM, introduction: Delphine Ménard

Problems new chapters have at the moment, possibilities and solutions


  • Chapters commitee started in 2006
  • Primary thing: Help chapters to become chapters
  • Worked on a process, step by step (find the steps on meta)
  • Take care of cultural differences
  • Input needed: Try to accompany the new chapters in their development
  • Share best practices with them
  • Cultural differences are very important

Which good and bad things happened in the process of building the chapter?

Josh, Philippines

  • main problem: documents got lost, language problems
  • No help by Indonesia because documents are very different, were not able to get any help from another chapter.
  • Other chapters don't exist in the same region, only local organizations.


  • organization, fill in some documents, was very smooth
  • Wasn't involved in the ChapCom-Part


  • Wouldn't blame ChapCom
  • Process has not been not successful yet
  • Difficult: Each region speaks different languages (over 20 languages all in all)
  • Meet-ups are very difficult
  • ChapCom has been helpful, there was a long discussion

How did the discussion of building a chapter take place?

Philippines (James Josh Lim):

  • Took place in English Wikipedia and on his user page – now via eMail

Portugal (Susana Morais):

  • Started in pt.wp
  • long process; then e-mail, meetings
  • after that: list to join the "chapter“, still by e-mail and wikipage as well
  • in the beginning public, after that mails with interested persons.

India (Arun Ramarathman):

  • Started on IRC, after that meta, after that e-mail

Lodevijk: Problematic: Closed doors...

Philippines: Everyone should be involved, even outside the project. India: Huge community: No consensus is possible, it is impossible to have discussion with that many people

Which possibilities are used to involve the community?

  • mailing lists (cede for privacy)
  • wikis (wp/meta) => Participation
  • IRL meetings => face to face
    • Nothing better than meeting in person
  • personal emails
  • involve more and more people
  • chat / messages / IRC
  • telepone-call

What was the starting-process of the chapter like?

Russia (Victor): Opened a wiki-discusssion, after that OTRS (closed) with access to trustees Process of making the chapter happened onwiki, moved to meta.

Norway (John): "By accident“: Before the starting, there were wiki-meetups, discussions – journalists: Shouldn't we start a chapter; one other meeting: Formed a chapter (surprise!) Academy: Begun working, function; hasn't hired anyone, more professionalization

Sweden (Lars): What we need is conference-organizing-persons, different skills, not Wikipedians: this could be were new chapters can find an approach: Maybe it's not Wikipedians who should start a new chapter. It's obvious: Wikipeidans start building a chapter. This needn't be obvious in the future.

Netherlands (Lodewijk): Is there anyway to make creating a chapter more easy?

Help from existing wikimedia-organizations

India: Fundamental documents → nearby chapters can help. Someone has to start somewhere, in some region, and then other regions can help them. Existing chapters can help new chapters (cf. Germany, Sweden, Denmark)

  • cultural similarities (legal)
  • local peculiarities

Bylaw-problem: First thing you have to look at is the law in your country, not what other Wikimedia-organizations did.

Italy: 70 % were the same as Germany Brazil: Uses the bylaws of Argentina

There can be a template (about 20 % by foundation) but the rest has to be found out

How dificult can it be to become a chapter?

  • Why did you choose to become a chapter, should it be difficult, or not?
  • How do we make sure that we involve that much people as possible.
  • Balance betwen control & accessibility

Process can fail. We should try not to fail again, why does it fail?

  • Ties with WM community
  • The group did not join


  • information → drop it in communities
  • voting in community
  • flags in projects-edit count
  • a group of relevant members went to meta and expressed their concernes
  • faster different profiles (other)
  • involve community in building the bylaw-writing

Find ways to community-assessment

  • trolls can be a very important problem
  • balanced as possible

Political assessment: What about Taiwan? Kosovo etc. Cultural/linguistic chareers, regionals chapter, transnational chapters

Answers: Sub chapters of national chaptes (would be interesting for India) → maybe start with such a subchapter? Indian: Because of work on the national level it's necessary to keep national chatpers Lodevijk: When we don't have any representation, why creating a chapter? (e. g. Belgium, there is no consensus, isn't it better not to build a chapter or only subchapters?) Richard: not the geographical thing, but the goal behind the geographical thing Functionality → is a subchapter actually functional? No conflict


  1. Functional: That's very important, it shouldn't be in conflict with other wikimedia-projects
  2. Balance in assessment of the community
  3. Communication tools, find the balance in private and public discussion