Movement roles project/Initial Questions II/Davis

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Jon Huggett spoke by Skype on 2010-12-10 with Jon Davis in his capacity as a volunteer for Wikinews

Vision and Mission[edit]

  • Are you familiar and comfortable with the vision and mission of the Wikimedia Foundation?
    • Yes
  • Do you and your organization share this vision and mission?
    • The vision and mission are a good fit, the execution leaves something to be desired
    • Wikinews has had to improvise and hack together solutions, having trouble getting support from the Foundation. It is not that the Foundation is trying to slight anyone, but we felt slighted. We are not the only group with these issues. Wikisources has similar issues.
    • Wikinews gets 6M hits a month, Wikipedia gets that many in an hour. Most volunteer's don't understand what that means and from their perspective it is frustrating to see nothing happening.

Strategic Goals[edit]

The strategic planning project framed the following goals for the movement:

  • Secure the infrastructure
  • Increase global participation
  • Improve quality
  • Expand reach
  • Support innovation

With that in mind:

  • How applicable do you think these goals are to your role in the movement?
    • These are good goals
  • How can the Wikimedia movement best meet these goals?
    • Boots on the ground in India is heading in the right direction - expanding the reach and global participation
    • Our projects are languishing because of the difficulty of getting critical mass and staying there. The problem with Wikinews is that we are always trying to hit a moving target. On Wikipedia an article can languish until someone picks it up. On Wikinews it will go stale. We have a review process with a 5-point check list
    • We have had ~6 articles in the last 3-4 days; we've had up to 35 articles on one day. It is hard to get people to contribute when they barely stop by.
    • Would like to see more resources dedicated to smaller sister projects. The newest project is Wikinews, which is now 4 years old. The process for starting a project is very unclear. It might be easier if it was hard set.
    • Wikinews now has about 56 admins, about 30 are doing editing (all of whom are admins) and 8 bureaucrats; 50% are in the US, most of the rest in Europe, some in Australia
    • Wikinews community is abrasive; all male

Entities in the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • What should be the core tasks and roles of the Wikimedia Foundation in the movement?
    • Technical support: the hosting of the site, and the software
  • What do you think should be the core tasks and roles of a chapter in the movement?
    • Primary role of a chapter should be to get people to contribute
    • There should be chapters in India with the goal to get people editing locally
    • It really does help to bring people together. it is a very different experience editing with people after you have met them. Most people don't equate a name on a screen with an honest-to-goodness perosn
    • How should the role of a sub-national chapter differ from a national chapter?
    • There was talk of a California Chapter, but we shut that down. We do not need it. it helps that the Foundation is here. We have a California list and a fairly active group in the SF bay area.
    • It is not clear how chapters can help Wikinews
    • Germany has done a good job raising money for themselves
  • What should other and new Wikimedia entities (groups that don’t fall within the current definition of a 'chapter', but share many attributes and goals) do?
    • The idea of project specific entities is interesting, but I would rather have the foundation devote resources to the issue

Relationships among entities within the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • What should be the minimum standards of transparency among Wikimedia entities – the Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, etc.?
    • As transparent as you can get without invading privacy or breaking the law
    • Wikimedia Foundation needs to explain what it is doing to volunteers
    • People were very worried about being eaten by Google after they gave us $1m.
  • To whom are the Wikimedia entities accountable? (e.g. their members, other entities in the movement, etc.)
    • Foundation is accountable to the movement as a whole
    • Chapters are accountable to their local community and to the Foundation, as they are supposed to be doing the Foundations work wherever the Foundation is not