Talk:Affiliations Committee/Archives/2012

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Chapcom scope

I just realized that you have changed the description of ChapCom. I wonder if there is any board resolution changing the ChapCom original scope.--Gomà 13:04, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

There is no Board resolution changing the scope of Chapcom, as far as I know, I simply updated the wiki page to reflect the current practical reality (the meaning of the paragraph didn't really change substantially as regards the scope). Do you think there should be a change, or at least that Chapcom should be more active in other areas it is mandated to act? --Dami 16:25, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I ask because I saw there will be an open search of volunteers and the interest of some possible candidates to participate may depend on the tasks to do. As for my opinion I think that sooner or later there will be chapters everywhere and the task of creating new chapters have their days numbered. However, if there are more chapters and perhaps other affiliated organizations the task of coordination and communication may be increasingly necessary. If you look at the mail I sent to the chapcom list on 10 October 2010, presenting my candidacy you will see that I explained that one of the motivations to candidate was to work on these issues. Happy New Year.--Gomà 22:59, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that Dami's change indeed reflects the current activities. Within the current climate, I also personally think that any 'coordination' is not very likely in the current climate anyway. But I also don't exclude the possibility that this changes in the future - important there is not so much the mandate from the WMF board, but much rather the mandate that the chapters would give.
What seems to be missing however is the task to also advise on 'unrecognizing' chapters when need arises - a task we have never had to deal with so far (except perhaps in some technical cases). Effeietsanders 10:01, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand that the duration of the chapter's contract is one year renewable. More than 'unrecognizing' perhaps we need to evaluate regularly the chapter providing them recomentations for improvement and in extreme cases recomendations of not to renew the contract. Probably the climate and the will to cooperate, coordinate and communicate should be important factors in this evaluation.--Gomà 11:17, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Legally speaking they are 1 year contracts perhaps - but as far as I know there is no *active* renewal - there will have to be an active decision not to renew, rather than the reverse. And for any process to review chapters to be a success, it will have to be actively supported by those same chapters. There seems to be some support for such a process, but then rather peer-based than 'from above'. But that is probably a discussion that is not chapcom specific, and deserves a more broad stage :) Effeietsanders 12:24, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

chapter wiki site

Members of this committee may be interested in the discussion at Proposals for closing projects/Closure of nzwikimedia. Or not. ~ Ningauble 21:52, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Ningauble, In my two years in the Chapters Committee I don't remember having contact with a New Zealand group, so it is probably safe to say that the wiki can be protected until a new community forms up again. --Dami 00:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Status

I have questions about the status of a chapter which has had its by-laws approved but has made no steps towards an organizational assembly or the election of officers. Does such a chapter truly exist?Thelmadatter 00:29, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

It depends on the situation, usually, we count chapterhood from the date of official registration by the relevant local authorities. If you would like to share your concerns in confidence with a particular chapter, please contact us, to discuss this. --Dami 00:33, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I sent an email to the only address that appears in the Get in touch section and chatted with Laura in irc, but it doesnt seem to have gotten through. Any suggestions?Thelmadatter 01:33, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

It seems your email got through fine, but we just have not been able to write a response yet. Someone is looking into it. Effeietsanders 08:22, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


The situation has NOT changed since I last talked to you. Decisions are being made with no formal mechanisms and nothing has been done to rectify this situation.Thelmadatter (talk) 20:39, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Updating required

The lede of this page presently begins with "The Affiliations Committee (formerly known as Chapters committee –ChapCom) ...", but it ends with "The committee is considering changing its name to the Affiliations Committee ..." and the next paragraph begins, "The Chapters' Committee is ...", both of which seem to contradict the first statement. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:58, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

As we speak, the Board of Trustees is voting on a resolution on this matter, while it has already announced its intentions. Hence, we're a bit in a confusing situation. This should be resolved and clarified in a matter of weeks. Effeietsanders (talk) 04:40, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Arne Klempert

Should Arne's name be removed since he is not in the Board of Trustee anymore? Siska.Doviana (talk) 06:08, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

No, because he has not been replaced (yet). He is observing ChapComAffCom because and so long as the board wanted/wants him to. It's up to the board to make any change in that. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 06:32, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I think Siska is right in that in our practice a liaison is a member of both bodies he is liaising between, so once Arne has stopped being a member of the Board, it has become difficult for him to liaise; but Asaf is right that he has not formally been removed from the Commitee, and given his long history on it, he may return in a different role in the future.--Bence (talk) 15:12, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Organising meetups sanctioned and hosted in a chapter's name

How are chapter sanctioned meetups hosted in the name of the chapter valuable to the purpose and mission of the wikimedian movement? Do chapter organised meetups have a place in the wikimedian movement alongside the community meetups which preceded the formation of the chapters? What is the best method to access the 39 chapters with a question about holding or organising meetups in their chapter name? The core question has been canvassed on internal-l in the last few days and received thoughtful and helpful discussion. If the above questions are appropriate for this committee and this talk space then informed comments would be welcomed and appreciated. Victorbyron (talk) 11:37, 18 July 2012 (UTC) Anne Frazer, Secretary, Wikimedia Australia

Hi Anne,
I don't feel that this question bears much relevance to this committee, considering its scope and tasks. Although the committee might consist of people that may or may not have an opinion on the matter, I think they would already be able to give such opinion through other venues. I personally don't see objection from ChapCom perspective to either way. Effeietsanders (talk) 04:37, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Effeietsanders,
Fair enough; thank you for taking the time to respond as it is appreciated. Victorbyron (talk) Anne Frazer, Secretary, Wikimedia Australia

Treasurer

I learnt from the recent blog post's signature that the AffCom has a treasurer, which seems extremely weird to me. The charter doesn't shed any light, could someone clarify what this role is? --Nemo 08:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Nemo, thanks for the question. As part of the expansion of AffCom this year we have requested a budget allocation from WMF to be able to visit groups, invite members of the group to a Wikimedia event, give small start up grants and have an annual meeting. Once the WMF had agreed to accept our request, it was necessary to set up internal procedures on spending and in the process we have created the role of treasurer. (For more details look here.) –Bence (talk) 16:45, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. So your charter allows you to change your Rules of Procedure without further board approval? (I don't see one.) I've linked the relevant article from the members page. Thank you again, Nemo 10:24, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that right has been granted as part of the last amendment (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Amendment_to_Chapter_Committee_Rules_of_Procedure). –Bence (talk) 16:31, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Languages

In the same blog post as above I noticed a very weird choice of languages, which doesn't follow any of the usual patterns in the WMF, i.e. mostly either 1) the biggest languages in Wikimedia projects (en, de, fr, it, pl, ...) or 2) the ones with biggest potential expansion (en, es, pt, ru, ar...).
It seems particularly useless to direct the AffCom outreach efforts for new kinds of orgs and groups towards German-speaking areas where chapters are already so developed; but probably the same applies to French – except perhaps for Maghreb – and Spanish – as we already have Iberocoop –. On the other hand, it would surely make a lot of sense to try with Japanese. --Nemo 08:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The end result seems to follow both of your patterns (the first three of pattern 1, and the first two of pattern 2 are all covered), the only difference is that there is a limited number of translations.
Translations were done by volunteers in a short time– the relevant pages on Meta are all set up for translation and we would appreciate if you could get the word out. German was chosen specifically because there is considerable interest there in the new models despite the presence of a strong chapter; French and Spanish to cover any white spots in Africa and Latin-America (personally, I would have liked some other African languages, but as I say, there wasn't an abundance of translations), and we almost had a Chinese translation but it wasn't done in the end.
There was no deep sinister strategy behind the move (not even a desire to cover the UN official languages), but I am not unhappy with the result – all the languages chosen are such that somebody in the Committee speaks them so if the reader acts on the last line of the post and contacts us, we will be able to respond. --Bence (talk) 16:53, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. Patterns are about priority, so no: none of those has been followed.
I've never suggested there was some sinister strategy; rather, that there was no strategy. Notice that I said WMF, not Wikimedia, because I was speaking of the languages which the WMF chooses for its documents translations (sometimes "professional"); if it was a random non-choice, given by what translators acted on time, you can strike the first line of my message.
The second line stays, however. If not this post, some sort of outreach effort for [organizationally] "underdeveloped" areas/languages is needed (and probably more useful). Restricting yourself to the languages the AffCom members speaks implies that when it rains, it pours: only areas with chapters et al. "produce" wikimedians with sufficient experience and interest to become AffCom members, which in turn "produce" new efforts/orgs only or mostly for the same areas and languages.
Of course this is only a general comment on what you said above, I know how much work the ChapCom has done for chapters everywhere! I'm sure that in principle you've not given up on the other areas/languages and you want the AffCom to continue being as effective as the ChapCom but practice is at least as important as principles, so what I say is that if you don't have an outreach strategy or at least a translation prioritization then you really should have one. --Nemo 10:19, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Certainly, outreach is indeed important and it is in no way restricted to the languages we speak, although it does place limitations. For example, an AffCom member was present at the last Iberoconf where they moved along the application of Wikimedia Bolivia; one of our members was invited to the CEE conf (but unfortunately could not attend); and I participated in a conference in Armenia (and before that visited neighbouring Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia trying to motivate the groups there a bit). At this point we mostly build on the opportunities that arise due to the fact that the local volunteers are starting to move things along and could benefit from the info and extra push we can bring. A more strategic approach perhaps would be better – we do have some of the resources to implement one, if you would like to help shape it, we certainly need the extra hands!
Specifically for translation, we haven't pushed the pages out through the translation notification system yet, if you would like to help with that, that would be great. –Bence (talk) 16:38, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
As I said above, I know how much you work, most of the participations you mentioned are not new to me. I've also always been quite sure, by knowing the members of the committee, that I wouldn't be able to do better than them... Speaking of extra hands, if I remember correctly the last announcement you sent around didn't mention any specific lack you were trying to compensate: if there are some languages or geographies you have problems reaching, you might specify that next time.
I can surely help with translations: let me know on my talk when you need help/suggestions. Thanks, Nemo 20:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Simpler, cheaper alternatives to incorporation

There are simpler, useful alternatives to incorporation. As noted in a recent discussion on the WM-SF list and copied below. SJ talk  20:34, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

When you have chapters and affiliates that aren't incorporated, how do you handle agreements or grants between such entities? SJ. it seems that "incorporate" could usefully be replaced with "form a registered association" in a lot of wikimedia docs / recommendations. -SJ
I can try answering your first question: usually, it is recommended that a joint account (of 2 or more people) is opened, and that they become the official custodians of the grant money. Asaf (or anyone in the Grants Team) can give a more precise response. Abbasjnr (talk) 19:39, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
The same way as in any large organization, commercial or nonprofit. There is no reason they have to have any independent legal existence, and in many organizations, they don't. They can just be informal subgroupings, organized for convenience (geographical, topical, or otherwise) of the organization as a whole, with or without whatever budgetary authority is granted by the organization's management.
Agreements about projects and funding could be mediated through the parent organization (through the Board, or whatever committee handles affiliate matters), or simply handled informally. - MCB
Unincorporated associations : You can have an entity (and even file tax returns or request tax-exempt status at a federal or state level) without incorporation, and can have legally binding agreements without incorporation. It can sometimes expose members to more personal liability, but can be a good option for people just getting together to do something good :).
A common definition: an "unincorporated nonprofit association is an unincorporated organization consisting of [two] or more members joined by mutual consent for a common, nonprofit purpose". - Jamesofur