There is no scarcity of ambassadorial positions in Wikimedia; if we had a thousand willing and active ambassador-types, that would be fantastic. There is rather a scarcity of active ambassadors.
Creating an artificial scarcity of positions, with phrases like "[projects being] entitled to" an ambassador, and the suggestion that ambassadors will be involved in voting on wikimedia-wide decisions, in a way that excludes non-ambassadors, is unlikely to increase participation. Channelling communication through a restricted set of people is unlikely to increase information flow.
Simply focusing the attention of the meta: community on ambassadors will be a great help.
- creating a model for "requests for ambassadorship" and propagating that to smaller projects [as part of creating a new small project]
- choosing a unified way to communicate with ambassadors (on their personal local-lang talk pages? on a special Embassy page on their local 'pedia? via email, perhaps a separate mailing list?) and doing so often.
- giving ambassadors regular, if minor, responsibilities - like weekly updates to a project report.
- providing a simple, automatic process for suspending idle ambassadors (graying out their names on the embassy list?) and for pinging the local project when the total # of ambassadors drops below, say, 0.1% of the active monthly contributors.
+sj+ 03:42, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Elian writes of fostering a sense of responsibility among ambassadors. This is a good idea; let us begin by contacting them, asking them to be responsible, and asking them how the current ad-hoc system works or does not work for them.
Voting ? Let a community decide if they want/need that ..
When you have to be elected to be "ambassador" or sidekick, you get the politicians out and if anything, politicians do not make good on their promisses. At this moment the ambassadorial role exists in name only, whether you are a ambassador or not, anyone can do liason work.
If you WANT to make it work, start adressing the self proclaimed ambassadors and make them function. They can always withdraw as ambassador. When a spot is vacant, ask in the "beer parlour" of that community for someone to fill the vacancy. Leave it to that community how someone is selected. When the community starts elections, fine. When someone steps to the plate, fine. The value of an ambassador is in the quality of the job that he does, it is not in the "democratic" way he became this function.
Basically, if you want to improve the current communication, make people that are on this list function as ambassador. Fill in the missing positions by asking in the communities. Do not start afresh when there is already something.. GerardM 07:32, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- I agree with GerardM partly on that the democratic way doesn't improve the current embassy network. I would like to add two things; To have embassies function it is necessary to 1) clarify what ambassadors are expected 2) have a well-designed channel between them and the people whom they should care for. If we fill every project with ambassadors, it won't be improvement - unless it would be clearer what and where they should do for whom. --Aphaia | Translate Election | ++ 09:00, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps instead of appointed/self-selected ambassadors, the first step should be the creation of embassy pages. These would allow anyone from neighboring wiki projects — "ambassadors" or not — to liaise with the other projects, both in going to outside projects and in helping people from the other projects.
We don't have self-appointed or elected "librarians" who answer questions at the Reference desk; we don't have elected technicians who answer questions at Village pump:technical. People act within them natually and the system works smoothly. It's perfectly possible that, after some time with embassies, people think that the position of "ambassador" ought to be formalized, but I think that it would be a more logical first step to create embassies first, and then see what the demand is for formal positions. Asbestos | Talk, 14:42, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- On Japanese Wikipedia we have a multilingual VP besides the normal VP. See Wikipedia:Chatsubo for non-japanese-speakers. It works well but Wikipedia embassy has other functions. It is a short cut for saving time other community or the Board have something to ask the community. --Aphaia | Translate Election | ++ 23:12, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- There are embassies already, but essentially they are not used (checkout Embassy for a list). We have a system of self-appointed ambassadors since more than two years now but it never worked. Electing people should give the job more prominence and let people feel responsible for it, that's at least my idea behind elections. --Elian 01:24, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- Those are for inter-language embassies, as far as I can make out. I propose a similar set of embassies be made for this inter-project idea. Asbestos 15:03, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)