IRC office hours/Office hours 2011-01-27
Hey Aude, Rock_drum :-)
It's 7 p.m. in Germany
yeah staying up for welcoming the girl back from india
I am still confused about timezones.
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your meditation camp report was interesting, sue
Was there a general topic for conversation for today's office hours?
Or just a free-for-all? :p
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Rock_drum: we didn't set one, because there is so much that has happened since we last had one in December.
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Rock_drum: b/c it was not the time yet
hi StevenW :)
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what's the topic today?
There isn't a single one.
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It's like a general open one on stuff that has happened since the last meeting in December.
no agenda you mean?
So why don't I throw out some stuff we could talk about? (We can talk about anything you want, but I can throw out some ideas.)
Hey Theo :-)
[10:02am] • Philippe
waves to Theo
[10:02am] • Theo10011
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So we could talk about my trip report -- the trip I took in November/December to Stockholm, London, Dubai and Delhi.
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We could talk about progress towards the office in India.
That was interesting, yeah.
We could talk about the General Counsel search.
Or whatever else people want.
[10:03am] • britty
is interesting in GC search definitely
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[10:03am] • Beria
wants a coffee ;D
What was your impression of Dubai, Sue?
[10:03am] • britty
I'm entirely not up to date on stuff, so I'll just sit back and listen :)
Hi StevenW :D
Nobody responded onlist to my trip report (although I did get some offlist notes from people). I think it was too long, and covered too many topics. Basically a barrage of info :-)
what is the issue in these office hours ?
Abbasjnr: from Kenja?
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Fenix2: Choose your own
nice to meet you Abbasjnr
can we talk about the progress of free content by organizations?
sgardner open street map license change. What are we going to do?
matanya: Sure. If you want PM me a specific question, I'll make sure it gets asked.
Abbasjnr! You should tell us about the Kenyan party that Ting attended.
Same goes for anyone.
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Hoi Sue, the fundraiser was a success ... now we do get a significant amount of money during the year... What about a proper during the year message ??
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I'm going to try and collect questions now that we're starting.
sgardner: sure, and USB distribution program too
I'd like to point out that apparently in wikipediae there is no working method/path/policy/resolution_model for demoting people in sysop or irc op status if they are shown to be so unconstructive and abusive
Ting's Safari was awesome
hey geniice, Gerard!
Question for sgardner regarding the search for a new General Counsel: in the process of the search, has there been any shift in how you [and your WMF colleagues] think of the role and what it should entail?
Gerard, can you restate your question, Sue isn't quite sure of specifically what you're asking about....
Narodnik: Great question.
Ting's safari? Does safari = trip?
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A safari is a trip to Africa
hello abbasjnr glad you got those books I sent you.
I am very worried with http://develop.consumerium.org/wiki/Sysop_vandalism
GerardM-, as a regular user, I'd say that's a bad idea. Frankly, those messages were annoying a lot of people. (To the point of people making browser extensions to block the big we need money banners)
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Another question, the off line reader is particularly important in "the third world".. so far the software chosen by the WMF does not obviously support internationalisation and localisation... please reassure me that other languages will be supported
any chance of talking a bit about pending changes and where we're heading with that?
Just so this doesn't get too chaotic since it's open, please PM me questions rather than just throwing them in the channel.
Hey Erik :-)
Happy birthday Erik. :)
GerardM: I am happy with WikiTaxi
Ahhhhh! Erik, how old are you now?
sgardner: have you heard of the Thai translation of 3,5 million en.wp articles? http://www.globalwatchtower.com/2011/01/13/asia-online-thai-wikipedia/
Yeah, thanks James
do we have anything related to a mechanism to de-sysop people who are abusing their power and need to go ?
Ina now the message is "I am a volunteer" ... a message without an introduction a message that can be much improved
StevenW: sunday. but thank you :-).
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<grin> I knew
Wow. This is feeling a little chaotic here today: lots of topics but we don't have any structure. I'm going to wait for a minute and let Steven organize thigns.
sue, happy to take gerard's question re: offline readers
Why don't you start then, Erik?
So I think first on the plate are Gerard's two questions.
Yeah, go for it.
And then maybe I can do a GC update.
[I need to run in 20 mins]
in sues report from her december travel, i found it among others interesting to read about the experience of tamil wikipedia with google translator kit, positive experience while the bangla and swahili experience was negative
GerardM-: absolutely. part of our India meetings was to discuss the specific steps taken to make the malayalam offline reader work well, for example, to better understand indic localization challenge.
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I would like to ask a question about the fundraiser and banners; why did the WMF ask for Wikimedians to submit banners (both text and graphic) only to not run all of them? Even the pesonal messages written by users were ignored.
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GerardM-: I recently asked Tomasz why Kiwix wasn't in translatewiki yet, and he was surprised that it wasn't -- so I expect that he or Emmanuel will reach out to you or Siebrand about that. it would be great to get it into tw.
easy question: what is "GC" ?
Rock_drum: noted, we can answer that in a minute
The lawyer. :-)
Great thanks ... that is what I am looking for
I'll help Kiwix switch to tw.n
Hey Asaf :)
Rock_drum: i asked the same on fnd-l and PB replied, you could scan the thread
[10:10am] • Asaf
i'm not completely satisfied w/ that, but answer is answer
kibble: thanks :)
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Sue is composing her answer to the question about the General Counsel. :)
Rock_drum, britty, I'll take the banner question in a minute :)
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Philippe you may know about a "during the year fundraising message" does that make sense to you ?
hi asaf, abbasjnr, britty, kibble
heya all :-)
hi anirudh long time no see
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hi phoebe are you fine now?
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britty, still sick
take care brassratgirl
Hoi brassratgirl :)
Okay, so Sue is still writing her answer to the GC question.
brassratgirl: did you get smacked with the WikiPlague too?
Rockdrum, regarding the banner question....
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In meantime, Philippe is going to answer the banner q :)
We actually tested more than 200 of the messages submitted by the community, and ran several of the user submitted ones...
so I'm not sure it's true that they were ignored.
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They weren't really used; Jimmy stayed up for the whole time.
It's true that we didn't run them all, but we did test the themes of (we believe) most of them.
phoebe! long time no see in a chatroom! ;-)
Rock_drum: no, that's not accurate.
the graphic banners specifically?
Philippe: how about saying "most of them were not used", so?
sgardner, phillipe, what is the status of the India office? And how far are you with the hiring of the National Program Director for India? have you contemplated all legal risks for opening an office in India?
We ran an appeal from Kartika, ones from LilaRojas, Goma...
Noted anirudh, we'll get to it after some questions that came up a little earlier
Now, if you're in an area where there is a chapter, the chapter controlled the messaging.
But not globally
Philippe: i love the idea, we should do that this year too
So it's possible that your chapter chose not to run those.
Rock_drum: within the area where the Foundation controlled the messaging, yes, we ran those editor appeals.
There was an Israeli Wikipedian (Tamar) featured.
Sue is going to answer the General Counsel question now
K I will talk now about the General Counsel search. This will be a little long :-)
So let me give you a little update on the General Counsel search. Narodnik asked if I'd changed my thinking about what we need in the role, during the process of the search which is a good question, because often our thinking does change as we conduct a search. In this instance it really hasn't shifted too much, but often it does. incompatible encoding
So in this instance: I set out to hire us a new GC, and it's obvious that we have really unusual requirements for a General Counsel, because we're such an unusual organization. We need a GC who can be responsible for defending/advancing the legal interests of a top-10 website that's rooted in the idea that the editorial content is written by volunteers. And that is operated by an internationally-active non-profit organization. So that's a rea
lly big job: it requires a strong generalist who can act as a kind of air traffic controller, outsourcing lots of work to pro bono lawyers, paid lawyers, interns and so forth. We also unusually-- need a GC who is ideologically aligned with us. We're a pretty radical organization, rooted in free culture / free software tradition, and we need somebody who understands, and agrees with, our stance on copyright, freedom of expression, and so fo incompatible encoding
rth. So it's a balancing act: finding someone who is ideologically aligned with us, and also a very competent, experienced generalist, ideally with experience defending the interests of large sites.
Hahaha, that's a wall of text!
whoa, flood alert
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The upshot is, we started out looking for an ideologically-aligned generalist. We also are --obviously-- unusually collaborative, open, transparent ... and so we need our lawyer to be those things too.
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So it's a tall order: there are not a lot of people who fit the profile we're looking for.
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...not to mention: familiarity with European/world tax/finance laws would be an advantage. (in light of the whole fundraising/remittance difficulties we are facing)
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Having said that, we have interviewed a couple of dozen people, many of whom are FASCINATING and talented and brilliant. And we are getting pretty close to the end of the search. I think I will probably be in a position to make an announcement within about two or three weeks.
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Thanks for that. I would say that the role of GC was not well-understood by enwp editors during Mr. Godwin's tenure - often confusion over which situations were off limits to GC involvement, were only for GC to settle, or where GC could be called upon to offer advice.
And yes, Asaf, you're correct: the 'international non-profit money transfer' piece is important too.
Narodnik: yeah, you are probably right. It's all complicated terrain. One of the things I aspire to have the new GC do, is to document our legal positions, and document roles-and-responsibilities (as you describe/suggest).
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Narodnik: I agree. It was sometimes (mis)understood that the GC is somehow the entire *movement's* counsel; but that was decidedly not the case, and could not have been, really.
I hope we can re-start a volunteer legal advisory group at some point. we used to have one long ago, but it became inactive.
That would be great, although I know your hands are somewhat tied by the legal imperative not to get too closely involved.
It takes time to develop that kind of detailed documentation. We haven't done it yet, because we're a young organization, and a young movement, and we're still defining things. But I think we're getting near time where we should have our positions described and understandable for everyone.
sgardner, yay @ documentation! Another good thing would be to make sure they make use of all of the volunteer legal people we have and know how to make use of the OTRS queue and all of those different avenues of communication.
A similar hiring question i would like to ask is where we stand with the the chapter developement role
i cant remember the exact job title
I think we're getting much sharper and crisper about the roles piece. The GC is obviously not GC for every single editor, but that doesn't mean the GC (and the WMF) don't share editors' interests on many, many issues. We're getting crisper about articulating/understanding how the pieces fit together.
kibble documentation just removes flexibility in what questions you can prevent the GC from answering
Are there any follow up q's on the GC issue?
I think we're ready to move on the next question I got if not
StevenW, I don't think there is, nope.
So Kingpin13 asked a really good question: Why so concerned about the number of female editors recently? Why's it so important?
So the research tells us that somewhere around 87% of Wikimedia editors are male.
And that is clearly not great.
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From a systemic bias point of view.
why not? :). I'm also interested as to how the research was carried out
The reason it's not great is because we want Wikipedia to contain 'the sum of all human knowledge.' And it won't, if there are no women contributing to it.
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Is the # of female editors in fact a "recent" concern?
sgardner: I'll answer the "how was it carried out" question
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plus: If there are girls, guys tend to behave a little more :-)
In the same way that we suffer if we don't have sufficient editors from India, sufficient editors who understand mathematics, sufficient editors who understand literature.
TorstenK: i wouldn't say that!
It's not possible to crisply state what the information is that women would bring to the table, if they were here. Because women are interested in all kinds of things: there are no 'male' and 'female
So, the best data we have on gender of our editing community comes from the General Reader/Contributor Survey that was carried out in partnership with UNU-Merit in November 2008: http://wikipediasurvey.org/
But I have noticed myself, anecdotally, as I wander around reading Wikipedia, that it is weak in some areas that I care about, and I expect that is probably correlated with gender.
plus education is a field where you find a fairly high number of female teachers, for some reason it doesn't carry over to Wikipedia
which it should
Eloquence: any plans to do a new survey or continous surveys?
sgardner tbe problem with that argument is that results in the conclusion that we can't contain the sum of all human knowledge because no tasmanians will contribute to it (we kinda killed them all)
Although there are methodological problems with that survey, the basic demographic data seems pretty solid and is widely replicated. There is an activity bias due to the survey being run via banners, but if anything, that just means that, at minium, the active core of editors is highly male.
we being britian
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To answer Tulip: it's not a new concern. Wikipedia has had a gender skew from the very beginning. But it is something that we are only now getting around the actually starting to address.
TorstenK: heuristically so and that is why girls don't jump in too-many-male-only societies, so program is required
Kingpin13: Try editing Sexism some time
I dunno Kingpin13: I think we do have lots of areas of weakness in our coverage. I've certainly observed lots of weaknesses.
kaldari, so more men are sexist than women or what?
sgardner: I think it's more about bias than weaknesses
check it out while for a little time yet it's not deleted
way to troll, dude.
with wikilove to the World
I think we're straying from Wikimedia-specific issues on the female editors question.
britty: Chicken or the egg -problem
And you know, it's also true that the women on Wikipedia aren't necessarily gender-conventional in their interests. some of the women at wiki-chix have pointed out to me that they're way more like Wikipedians-in-general, than they are like women-in-general.
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I am phrasing that a little clumsily, but I think you know (or can imagine) what I mean.
sgardner do we have gender ratios for individual projects. Commons say
I think no.
sgardner: interests and behavourial aspects may differ
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Maybe from the survey that Erik referenced earlier, but not sure if it's published or comprehensive across projects.
What do you mean, TorstenK?
what about the rough climate in wikipedia, isn't that keeping away many female newbies (also male, but female in peticular)?
Yeah, it is tied in with general newbie-friendliness issues.
Well I guess the point is that women aren't so different from men in their interests. Anyway, shouldn't we cater to certain interests that are having problems rather than the gender that is believed to be interested in them?
the Wikipedia Survey was multiple language WPs, but not multiple projects. There have been some project-specific surveys, at least one for wikibooks, which reflected an even higher male ratio.
Ziko: yeah, definitely. Women are socialized to be more sensitive to (caring about) criticism: in general, with lots of exceptions, they are more hurt by it.
sgardner: in Germany some IT companies try to have a more equal gender balance - the interests of the male and female employees are the same, but they behave in different ways
So criticism affects women more so than men; it would be more likely to dissuade them from participating.
My feeling is that while a wide range of male personality types can and do thrive on wikipedia, there are a limited set of women's personality types that seem to be able to hang around
once i read that women don't contribute because they know that it is rude to correct someone in public :-)
TorstenK, yeah, I do wonder what the behavioural implications of having lots of women would be, for the Wikimedia culture. I think it's important to have more women even if only purely for the editorial reasons (breadth/depth of content) -- but there might be good effects on culture too.
Fluffernutter, why do you think that?
Fluffernutter, or maybe they're just quieter, did the poll take account of females being less likely to share their gender?
(Maybe it's true, I'm just curious why you think it.)
okay, next topic?
The India office? :)
No, the poll didn't suggest that Kingpin13.
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Anirudh asked, "what is the status of the India office? And how far are you with the hiring of the National Program Director for India? have you contemplated all legal risks for opening an office in India?"
sgardner: since you mentioned 'international non-profit money transfer' - why had Wikimedia Germany change it's funding system right before the donation run 2010/2011. It caused many problems in Germany including impeachment proceedings against the Board of Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
[bye all - gotta run into a meeting]
i have suggested to wmde to hire a mediator or coach to train wikipedians in their behavior, but never got an answer
As far as I'm aware the only major website that is female majority is facebook
Ziko: Kompa did that too :-)
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(Actually Kingpin13, I think that women are slightly more likely to fill out surveys than men. Something about wanting to be nice, to please :-)
sgardner: it's not a completely thought-through idea or anything, but the women I know on-wiki tend overwhelmingly to be either let's-not-make-waves types or screw-this-crap-i'm-saying-exactly-what-i-think types
geniice: actually there are a lot more
as opposed to being the more typical somewhere-in-between type
Geniice, I'm not really sure that's true....
sgardner, but on the interenet, I suspect that if posed with the question "What is your gender?", more males would answer than females...
Twitter, Flickr, MySpace Bebo, Ning too
Bye Erik :-)
I think James is about to toss a link at us....
geniice: we have a big graph in the very room that they're all sitting in
don't know about Twitter MySpace is mobid and bebo is dead
geniice here is a link for you to consider with some data
otoh, maybe enough men on the internet lie about their gender for it to even out... ;-)
jowen err facebook
geniice: I can see it from here, there are about 10 sites that are female-majority and about 3 tht are male-majority :)
geniice: ah, jowen posted it
The aggressive sort of posturings that go on as a matter of course on-wiki can be extremely initimidating unless a woman is willing to either aggressively meet them or to try to avoid attracting them
which is a shitty position to be in
BTW, according to alexa, I think Wikipedia has a higher than typical female readership... not sure about that though
Sue... the Wikimedia Foundation is now a charity in the Netherlands ... but did you know that you can be a European charity as well ?
wow, we make digg look gender-neutral!
werdna yes and in the UK the only one of the female dominated ones that is still a major site is facebook
Fluffernutter: I think it's really hard to be a woman in a room full of men, in general. You need to develop a stance, and i think you're right: some women pick "I'm not fighting with anybody" and some women pick "I will fight with everybody all the time." One thing the wiki-chix talk about, is not wanting to feel like they have to represent 'all womanhood' all the time. Which I think is totally fair: why should they have to.
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It's complex :-)
Anyway, let's move on to anirudh's question. It's a big one and I don't want us to miss it before we get too much further along.
What's this wiki-chix thing that keeps being mentioned?
haha Digg has more gender neutrality.
[10:40am] • Fluffernutter
didn't know wikichix existed, cool!
werdna however my argument was going to be that we can reasonable conclude that the most effective way of improving female participation is going to be increasing our socal networking side
Can anyone here give a little update on the chapter status, and I will give an update on the hiring of the program director :-)
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Fluffernutter, it's a REALLY cool organization.
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although I have no idea what Hudong's gender ratio is
Well, I know that as far as the chapter status, it's finally officially incorporated and legal. :)
I should join that mailing list pb :)
sgardner, the Wikimedia India Chapter has been registered in the State of Karnataka.
geniice: I think that's a pretty reasonable way forward.
There are seven members on the Executive Council, and we are in the process of setting up bank accounts, and getting the tax work done.
stevenW, that's right. 14 Jan 2011.
werdna Well the flickr stats suggest there is a faint possibility that commons might be able to do something but then you consider what kind of images commons actualy has
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Well it sounds like you know more about the update on the chapter status anirudh :)
Sue can probably speak to the National Program Director bit etc. though
I am on the Executive Council. (-:
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okay: National Program Director for India.
Okay, National Program Director for India. The recruiting process began several months ago; I'll recap where I think we're at. I'm not personally making this hire: Barry Newstead is, and he's on vacation right now in Australia. So I will just say what I know, and hopefully avoid any errors.
Barry has a recruiter helping him with the search. The recruiters did the usual things: they ran advertisements (in for example the Economist); they talked with lots of our board members and advisory board members and like-minded organizations in India to surface candidates. And then Barry did a screening process where he interviewed a few dozen of the best candidates via Skype. That whittled down the list a fair bit to maybe a half-dozen incompatible encoding
people, or a few more. Then Barry, Advisory Board member Achal Prabhala, and board member Bishakha Datta, interviewed those finalist candidates in I believe Bangalore. Then I met with two of the finalists in Delhi a few days later. And now they're nearing the conclusion of the search. Like with the GC, there will probably be an announcement within a few weeks.
Let me know if you've got any questions :-)
Does that answer your question anirudh ?
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You can imagine all the conversations: there are very good rationales for being in Bangalore, Mumbai/Pune, Delhi. And maybe also other locations too, but those three are the main ones that seem obviously worth exploring.
geniice, that's a great question.
sgardner, the foundation will be opening itself up to a lot of legal risks by opening an office in India. Internet companies like Google keep getting sued all the time. Plus, we aren't exactly known for our defense of free speech. Is there a concrete plan on dealing with that?
When you say that interviews took place in India, I'm assuming that most applicants for that post came from India compared to other parts of the world, right?
geniice both English and Indian languages are vitally important ... the only thing that makes sense for the WMF is to make sure that there is a level playing field
Different people at the Wikimedia Foundation have slightly different positions: we don't all agree. I'll tell you what I think,. and then I'll tell you what the other arguments are :-)
Perhaps it's not an either/or: e.g. in community-building work, the Indian languages are more important, obviously; in school outreach etc., English would probably play a significant role. So it depends on the program.
In general, I believe that the Wikimedia Foundation should be completely agnostic about what language editors choose to write in. Basically, it's none of our business: it's their decision.
all 2000 of the official languages of India, geniice :)
We know that people in India tend to disproportionately edit in the English Wikipedia. I can imagine lots of reasons why that would be -- but again, it's up to them, it's not my business or my decision.
Theo10011 err I don't think they all have written scripts
So in general, I think WMF should be agnostic on language.
Speaking of, I just saw Kannada Wikipedia crossed 10,000 articles. :)
Yay for Kannada :)
sgardner, anirudh there is already one case where Wikipedia is one of the parties addressed. by IIPM at Guwahati.
sgardner it is your business to ensure that technically they are equal ... after that it is each contributors choice
not separate scripts geniice but there are atleast a dozen scripts between them too
But having said that (and here is where GerardM is correct), it is not currently a level playing field. Editing in English is easy; editing in Hindi is not easy. And so I think the Wikimedia Foundation has a responsibility to try to level the playing field, so that --insofar as it's in our control-- people can edit in the language of their choice.
So that's my view.
To me it appears that the role of the National Program Director in India overlaps quite a bit with Chapter functions (including fundraising). This is the first time the Foundation is opening an office outside of the United States, and therefore it will set a precedent internationally. Do you think it is okay for WMF functions to overlap those of the local Chapter organizations?
hey hpnadig congrats on your milestone
but surely part of the reason it's unlevel is because there are so many more users at enwp?
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Kingpin13|food there are issues with input methods and even display issues for Indic scripts
There is a counter-argument (which I probably can't do justice too, since honestly, I don't agree with it). Which is that the Wikimedia Foundation should focus solely or mainly on encouraging people to edit in the regional languages of India -- the languages that have a lot of speakers, but which currently have very small Wikipedia language-versions.
That's the other argument.
number of users is not something you need to concern yourself with
sgardner these would be the non cynical arguments
which notion, I sort of subscribe to....
<Theo10011 oh no the pragmatic argument is that we should be activly encouraging editors from the likes of the balkans to edit in their own languages
GerardM-, Yes, but we often get users coming over to enwp and asking for help on their home wikis (especially with technical problems), normally it's difficult to help because of the language barrier
i could imagine that some indians would like to make their first steps on en.wp and learn from it, and later step to the indian language versions
Ziko: or they stay at en.wp
What do you think about it anirudh and hpnadig ? What's your attitude to editing in English vs. Hindi or your mother tongues?
I know what Theo10011 thinks. ;)
people have to grow in their ability ... they do. but there has to be room for for instance Indian places on the English Wikipedia without them being deleted (as does happen)
places I can live with
gurus not so much
English Wikipedia is more popular. Many people do not know that language editions exist!
Ziko: we heard on NPOV that African authors tend to write in English because they don't know the needed vocabulary in their mother language
TorstenK we've heard the same from turks which is odd
StevenW, as we go beyond major cities, people are still more accustomed to communication in local languages.
Two years ago, my opinion would have been promoting only the English language projects. Jimmy has been talking about local-languages for more than five years now. Since technology is bridging the urban-rural divide in India and penetrating the markets faster than the English language, I foresee local language projects doing well in the next few years.
Huh. You'd think it'd be the other way around.
StevenW, the local language media has been thriving of late.
well we differ on that point Swatjester, but it is the other way round in my opinion.
sgardner, stevenW, can we get to the legal risks in India and responsibilities overlap question w.r.t India office?
the indian office will of course mention the indian wps and indicate what auxiliary tools and texts there are. but we cannot tell people on what wps they have to write
This is why I <3 office hours. The stuff we learn....
What Torsten just said to Ziko? A Tamil editor told me that too, in Dubai. They don't have words in Tamil for some concepts, particularly technology-related ones.
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local languages won't do as well compared to English in India. (IMO)
Theo10011 let a thousand flowers bloom ... currently we have "only" 280 Wikipedias
too many and too divided.
We should make a bet about Theo10011. ;)
Okay, let me respond to Anirudh's question about the chapter and the Wikimedia Foundation.
in my editing on eo.wp i enjoyed the help of the en-eo dictionary of compuer terms by yves nevelsteeen, the indian office could support such initiaitves
Anirudh, you said that you were curious to know if we're comfortable that the activities of the Indian chapter and the activities of the Wikimedia Foundation office in India would overlap. Right?
there is a translation tool from Microsoft to translate and edit english articles in different languages: http://www.wikibhasha.org/
It was about legal issues I think
perhapt WMF could make a cooperation
18:51 < anirudh> To me it appears that the role of the National Program Director in India overlaps quite a bit with Chapter functions (including fundraising). This is the first time the Foundation is opening an office outside of the United States, and therefore it will set a precedent internationally. Do you think it is okay for
WMF functions tooverlap those of the local Chapter organizations ?
Ah yes that one
<anirudh>sgardner, the foundation will be opening itself up to a lot of legal risks by opening an office in India. Internet companies like Google keep getting sued all the time. Plus, we aren't exactly known for our defense of free speech. Is there a concrete plan on dealing with that?
(Which I personally am interested in)
Okay. So on the overlap question. It's going to be super-complex, obviously. But I think what we're going to aim for in India is to have the two entities complement each other, rather than just overlapping.
So, the Indian office will focus on the kinds of things that paid staff are better suited for, and the chapter will focus on the kinds of things that volunteers are better suited to.
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Why can't the Chapter do both?
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What do you mean, do both?
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We can have paid staff, hire professional managers, technology people for support.
But you don't, right?
<grin> the chapter only started recently
So maybe in the fullness of time you will, and that would be great. But you don't right now. So what the Wikimedia Foundation can do is accelerate activity in India, by providing an infusion of cash, energy, effort, etc.
how old is the Indian chapter? just a few weeks?
Yes, not for now. But if the Foundation can spend the same money on the Chapter, then we can grow organically.
The Foundation spending money on the chapter doesn't sound like organic growth to me. ;)
Let me give you an example of the complementarity thing.
aude, it just got officially registered a few weeks ago, yes.
aude, we had a painful bureaucratic hurdle to deal with. Took several months to just get through that.
Let's say the Wikimedians in India want to stage a slate of Wikipedia Academies across the country. (I'm not saying they should do that, I'm just using it as an example.) The Wikimedia Foundation office could negotiate terms with universities and provide speakers from the Wikimedia movement outside India. The chapter could organize volunteers to staff the Academies, and do outreach work to make sure people know they are happening.
StevenW, only for a while as a kickstart... later the Chapter can raise money by itself or seek further. :) My concern is that a number of activities (most importantly complimentary fundraising) can become very complex issues.
That's a not-bad example of complementarity in action. Basically: two entities can work together, each providing the skills and expertise and energy that it's got, in support of the main activity.
That's basically how I see it playing out.
That's true anirudh
We should probably start wrapping up...
Any quicker final questions?
yes, or jorm and I are going to kidnap Philippe :)
and that room.
<anirudh> sgardner, the foundation will be opening itself up to a lot of legal risks by opening an office in India. Internet companies like Google keep getting sued all the time. Plus, we aren't exactly known for our defense of free speech. Is there a concrete plan on dealing with that?
You will have to drag us out of here!
i can take philippe but not sue.
[11:07am] • werdna
readies the lassoo.
Why don't I take a quick crack at the legal question, and then we'll wrap up.
James points out that you scheduled over his meeting :P
and even if you didnt I will not leave
I feel like a 'thread' pun is appropriate here, but I'm not entirely sure what it should be.
thank you, sgardner. With a cost-benefit perspective on opening an office vs. supporting the chapter directly - factoring in legal risks, complexities and benefits of having a professional organization like WMF functioning directly.
"Plus, we aren't exactly known for our defense of free speech." I'd dispute that a bit.
Okay. The legal question. Obviously this is a big deal for the Wikimedia Foundation: it'll be the first time we've opened an office outside the United States, where we are comfortable and familiar with the legal context. We don't have that comfort and familiarity anywhere else, including India. So the goal is for us to have a plan that will 1) mitigate risk in advance, by structuring our work there to avoid unnecessary exposure, and ii) have
a plan in place to defend our interests, should we need to.
I think he means India, FYI SWATJester
Ok yeah that makes much more sense to me :)
Barry is working with an Indian legal firm right now to get us a better understanding of how we can do all that, and we've been having conversations with other organizations (like eBay, Google) about the experiences they've had in India, and how they've handled them.
And of course it'll be a top priority for the new GC, from both an 'importance' perspective and an 'urgency' perspective.
But you know -- one final thing.
SWATJester, yes, we don't have first amendment protection. just a lousy clause 19 with a lot of ifs and buts
sgardner, that is great to know!
Opening an office in India for the Wikimedia Foundation is not going to be risk-free. There is no way to do it and completely eliminate risk to the organization. So our strategy there will be to minimize risk and manage risk. But not to avoid it.
Okay, we're being kicked out of our room and it's 10 past the hour, so we should wrap up now.
andy how often to the newspapers there get censored?
Thanks anirudh -- and it was nice to speak with you. Congratulations on the chapter!! :-)
thanks for your time, sgardner.
GerardM, so nice to talk with you! I miss you: will I see you in Haifa?
Thanks Sue, and BTW, I'll get you Ting's report
SWATJester depends what they say about the naxalites sikh nationalism and the kashmir issue
SWATJester, books get banned, newspapers get sued and then they have to publish apologies etc
I meant literally -- monthly, daily?
Congrats on the tenwiki event Aude. :)
SWATJester, private armies raid media house offices... ransacking their entire operations, beat up people.
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[11:14am] • aude
now suffering from wikiplague :(
the Wikiplague is awful.
Aude has the wikiplague!!!!
I hope so ... I plan on standing in the next elections
yes, it's terrible
StevenW: thanks for Wikipedia10
Oh no! We all had it: everybody was sick last week.
run for your lives!
It is almost over for me.
You're welcome Abbasjnr . :)
I thought we were calling it the SWATPlague?
StevenW I have not finished blogging about 10.wikipedia
It was entirely SWATJester's fault.
StevenW: Yeah, good job on running everything, and thanks for the sysop on tenwiki! :0
I intend to blame him. He licked the spoons or something.
hpnadig, SWATJester, even though the ebay was only an intermediary (one of their users was selling blue films), their director was hauled into jail.
Thanks for the help Rock_drum
i think he visited the bakery for the cake
I heard it was Carrie's baby who infected us all, but she strenuously denies that.
SWATJester, in short we arrest people first and ask questions later. ;-)
Then I heard it was Werdna.
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Well played, Typhoid Dan.
I didn't get plague until my 3rd day at the office
You were a carrier!
so I blame Alex
LOLOLOL, okay. we are getting kicked out by jorm and Werdna. Bye guys :-)
Nice to talk with you all :-)
bye everyone :)
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