Talk:The ideal Wikimedia board of trustees
Glad to see renewed interest in this. Three suggestions for how to manage the recruitment of a board, and proposals for new discussions:
- Invite the people named, by sending them the exact URL of this article. Tell them that they are welcome to remove themselves from the list if they are not interested, but that we would prefer that they suggest someone else who has the same advantages, and maybe similar interests, and perhaps more time to focus on wikipedia. Also ask them what might be appropriate funding sources, and an institutional sponsor, e.g. some UN entity working in education?
- Begin raising objections to particular individuals in another article, NOT THIS ONE (Ideal Wikipedia board) which should remain clean and readable and printable without adding discussion, that might confuse or anger sponsors or potential board members. But we do need a thorough discussion in an obvious place, so let's make it recruiting Wikipedia's board, and encourage discussion of ongoing issues in how these people would get along.
- Agree in advance for a voting system to use if and when consensus decision making breaks down - that will avoid contention if the choices get especially controversial. Issues of national, ethnic, gender and ethical point of view representation should be assumed to pop up AT SOME POINT in the recruiting of a board, so settling on equity measures in advance is essential as well. For instance if South Asians are 3% of users right now but over 60% of Earth's population, how do we compensate for the fact that we make decisions that affect how their knowledge and languages and history are being represented?
This is a very complex issue that should be discussed starting NOW, so a Wikipedia board manual should also get going about now, and outline how various systems of meeting and voting and means of consensus decision making would or would not meet its requirements to manage this project of >100,000 articles trying to be useful to the Hundred millionth user, Billionth user, etc.. Talk about a requirements problem!
- Sounds nice for a hundred millionth user, maybe a tiny little bit anglo-americano-newzelando-australio-canadio centred for a billionth user :-)
- Yup, the board required to solve the problems for the hundred millionth user to three hundred millionth user, would be quite different from the board required to solve the problems of the five hundred millionth user to billionth user or three billionth user. Those issues are discussed in those other articles, we basically have to guess or choose the range of users we accomodate. Even now the English wikipedia is so much better developed and referred that it's hard to see how it will be less than a 90%-English project even with 300 million users... although beyond that, there just aren't any more native English speakers, and we get mired in questions of defining vocabulary (Wiktionary is evading this right now) and pay more attention to simplified Wikipedia and accomodating translation.
- True. But likely among your 300 million users, there will be many many non-english. Maybe even the majority. The common language is just a 'tool' we can't avoid to understand each other. Many of us who understand english use much much more sites in english language than in our own language. So, though there's no doubt in my mind the english wiki will always be far ahead all of the others for a long long time, though it seems clear to me the board should in majority speak and understand well english, I think if you want to accomodate the range of users you are likely to get, you should have other voices than just westernish ones. If only to point out which subjects are better covered, or more likely to be better covered on a non-english wiki. The more I read some of the english articles on a couple of issues that are rather strongly defined in my mind, the more I am amazed by the gap that sometimes exist between two supposingly common concepts/words.
- Agreed on all counts. For instance the English word en:power has two equivalents en francais, one meaning 'power from within oneself, innate power, or ki' (in Japanese), the other meaning 'power allocated someone by a trust', e.g. political power. That in itself has some pretty major implications. Also en francais one differentiates between the 'imparfait' tense in which one is filling in gaps outside the main thrust of action, e.g. en:flashbacks, and there is 'composee' and 'definee' tenses for writing and speaking about the path of action itself. English makes no such distinctions which suggests a different mode of thought and breakdown of language.
- The only cure is probably just more board members from non-English-speaking nations, whose primary language is not English. One may start with teh people who ran for the board of en:ICANN, on five continents, who are clearly interested in the Internet... some of them may be willing to serve on the wikipedia board.