Talk:Wikimedia Canada/Meetings/2008-02-13

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No to the Membership Fee Structure Proposal[edit]

La version française suivra


Dear Wikimedia Canada participants,

As I do not wish to disrupt the next IRC meeting, I chose to voice my opinion here for anyone interested to read.

I have been working on and off on this project for over two years now, managing to get over a 100 participants interested in this project at the peak of it's initial activity. I must admit that despite the fact that I would have appreciated a courtesy invitation to the initial meeting, especially after being involved in what now seems to have been a parallel initiative this past fall, a steering committee has already been formed and I salute the initiative.

That being said, and recognizing that it is only a steering committee and not the charity itself, a few of the things I heard during the past meeting truly appalled me. Since the language issue has already partly been discussed, I'll simply say that I'm glad to see that the project page will remain bilingual even though english has been chosen to facilitate communication between committee members.

My second concern was about the membership issue. In my mind, the project of a canadian chapter has alway been about creating a charity to collect donations to the Wikimedia Foundation and participate in the global fundraisers to encourage users to make donations. Period.

Obviously, I knew that other wikimedians might disagree with that position and that's why I attempted to get as many people as I could involved in the project to make sure we're all on the same page. When I heard last wednesday that not only was the steering committee heading for a formal membership structure, but that you would have to pay 50$ to become a member and take part in the decisions, I couldn't believe what I was reading.

I've been involved in various student unions for the past 10 years, ranging up to 15000 members, and such a proposal would've never passed in any general assembly. I can't even imagine what the response to such a proposal would be in an open source / open content oriented community such as the potential Wikimedia Canada target audience. So I'll simply say this : as someone who had this project at heart for a very long time, such a membership structure would be a deal breaker for me. I obviously can't speak for casual users but I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in thinking that having to pay to voice your opinion in the wiki world is simply unacceptable.

Again, to me, the goal is simple : we need three people to register a legal entity that will handle donations, that's it. Everything else should be managed the wiki way.

This is of course only one man's opinion and I'll watch closely the debate on that issue during this next meeting, hoping that the discussion will be open to all members in attendance.

Yours,

Stéphane Thibault 07:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Regarding you not being informed of the meetings, I assumed that those formerly active in planning would be on the mailing list. Greeves (talk contribs) 22:59, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Greeves, I made sure to update my subscription. Stéphane Thibault 08:05, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


I would like to respond to your comment where you said "I must admit that despite the fact that I would have appreciated a courtesy invitation to the initial meeting". I'm getting tired of hearing from you for not being informed to the meeting. We announced the meeting date and location with sufficient time to notice in various venues, including {{Information thread}} (which is transcluded to meta's main page), mailing list, WMC's main page, and even some people's userpage. Please avoid using straw man strategy in your arguments. We never formalized the membership fee amount. $50 was only an idea but was immediately opposed by some participants. We applaude your attempts to create WMC. But now we must move forward and continue our work without distractions.
And I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone in general that steering committee is not equilvalent to the provisional committee. Steering committee is created to get things started (e.g. writing bylaw, getting chapter committee's approval). Provisional committee is the actual committee that runs WMC when it's established. Being on the steering committee is "no big deal" and it's time "to dispel the aura of 'authority' around the position[s]" OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Again, I apologize OhanaUnited if my mentioning my situation concerning the first meetings annoys you but please refrain from making this into something personal. Since I never got to explain what had been going on from my perspective this past fall, let me quickly say that I was in contact with another long time contributor to the project, Ray Saintonge, right until november. He even had the NUANS search for Wikimedia Canada done and reserved until January 8, although I don't know for sure what has happened since then. I had also been notified of Gerald's renewed involvement in November by Delphine Ménard but was still waiting to know who Gerald was since I didn't make the connection to Historybuff / HOTR right away. As you may see, I tought I was pretty much up to speed and I'm really not trying to use fallacious arguments here nor invoque any type of argument of authority. I simply removed my comment from last meeting's attendance list and posted it here as it seemed more appropriate.
As for the membership / membership fee proposal, I understand it was only an idea but as it seems it may be subitted to a closed vote by the members of the steering committee this next wednesday, I simply heeded your advice from last week and posted my opinion here hoping not to disturb the process on IRC.
Hope this clears a few things up. Stéphane Thibault 08:05, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


Non à la proposition d'une structure à frais d'adhésion

Chers participants au projet Wikimedia Canada,

Comme je ne souhaite pas perturber la prochaine réunion IRC, j'ai choisi d'exprimer ici mon opinion pour toute personne intéressée.

Je travaille de façon intermittante sur ce projet depuis plus de deux ans maintenant, et je suis parvenu à susciter l'intérêt de plus de 100 participants à l'apogée de sa phase initiale. Je dois avouer que malgré le fait que j'aurais apprécié une invitation de courtoisie à la première réunion, en particulier après avoir été impliqué dans ce qui semble avoir été une initiative parallèle l'automne dernier, un comité de lancement de projet a déjà été formé et je salue l'initiative.

Ceci étant dit, reconnaissant qu'il s'agit seulement un comité de lancement et non de l'organisme de bienfaisance lui-même, quelques-unes des choses que j'ai entendues au cours de la dernière séance m'ont vraiment consterné. Puisque la question de la langue a déjà en partie été abordée, je vais me contenter de dire que je suis heureux de voir que la page principale du projet demeurera bilingue même si l'anglais a été choisi pour faciliter la communication entre les membres du comité.

Ma deuxième préoccupation était sur la question de l'adhésion des membres et des frais afférents. Dans mon esprit, le projet d'un chapitre canadien a toujours été orienté vers la création d'un organisme de bienfaisance destiné à recueillir des dons au nom de la Fondation Wikimedia et de participer aux campagnes mondiales de collecte de fonds en encourageant les utilisateurs à faire des dons. Point.

Évidemment, je savais que d'autres wikimédiens pourraient être en désaccord avec cette position et c'est la raison pour laquelle j'ai essayé d'obtenir le plus grand nombre de personnes impliquées dans le projet afin de nous assurer que nous sommes du même avis. Quand j'ai entendu mercredi dernier que non seulement le comité de lancement se dirigeait vers un organisme avec structure d'adhésion, mais que nous aurions 50$ à payer pour devenir membre et prendre part aux décisions, je pouvais difficilement croire ce que je lisais.

J'ai été impliqué dans de nombreuses associations étudiantes au cours des 10 dernières années, certaines allant jusqu'à 15000 membres, et une telle proposition n'aurait jamais été adoptée dans aucune assemblée générale. Je peux à peine imaginer ce que la réponse à une proposition de ce genre serait dans une communauté orientée distribution libre / contenu libre telle que la clientèle cible de Wikimedia Canada. Alors je vais simplement dire ceci : en tant qu'utilisateur qui a ce projet à cœur depuis très longtemps, une telle structure constituerait un point de rupture pour moi. Évidemment je ne peux non plus parler pour les utilisateurs occasionnels, mais je suis convaincu de ne pas être le seul à penser que le fait d'avoir à payer pour exprimer notre opinion dans l'univers wiki est tout simplement inacceptable.

Encore une fois, pour moi, l'objectif est simple : nous avons besoin de trois personnes pour enregistrer une personne morale qui gère les dons, c'est tout. Tout le reste doit être géré à la manière wiki.

Il s'agit bien sûr de l'opinion d'un seul homme et je suivrai de près le débat sur cette question au cours de la prochaine réunion, en espérant que la discussion sera ouverte à tous les membres présent.

Sincèrement,

Stéphane Thibault 07:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Au sujet de qu'on n'a pas t'informer, j'ai pensé que tout le monde actif en l'organisation de Wikimédia Canada dans le passé été sur la liste de discussion. Greeves (talk contribs) 22:59, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Merci Greeves et merci pour l'effort de traduction. J'ai pris bien soin de vérifier que mon abonnement à la liste d'envoi était actif. Stéphane Thibault 08:05, 12 February 2008 (UTC)