Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2007/Candidate presentation guidelines/en

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Modified version[edit]

Aphaia, rather than trying to alter your composition I've written a slightly modified version for consideration. Use as much of it as you like

LouisBB 13:49, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


Goal of this document[edit]

This is a guideline to candidates for the forthcoming election of the Board of Trustees, to aid and encourage them to create a good and effective presentation.

It was felt that such a document was necessary, because past presentations were sometimes too long, too complex, and too difficult to understand, whereby they might have even become boring, untranslated, and unread.

For the format requirements for the 2007 Board Election, please consult the Board elections/2007/Candidates/en page.

Be plain[edit]

For a good presentation it is important that it is brief, clear, and concise. Use simple words and especially simple sentences. Please use a language as plain as possible. Forget your mastery of rhetoric and your eloquence, do not try to show off your enormous vocabulary. And avoid colloquialisms, which are often hard to translate.

You may ask why, but the answer is simple: most of the readers will not understand complex rhetorics, so all they generate is boredom. And plain language is easier to translate.

The more difficult a presentation is, the smaller chance there is that it gets through, especially to the global audience. Please note that most of voters may not be English native speakers, roughly 2/3 of all the voters in 2006 at the last election were not.

The possibility of a translation being provided doesn't change the situation. We have to assume that the majority of voters will rely on translations, by volunteers who might also have difficulty in understanding and also finding the right words for translating a difficult and complicated text. In past elections, some translators have complained about presentations written with difficult words. Some thought that using such expressions by the candidates has showed arrogance, as they ignored that potential translators were fellow editors who had limited time to translate presentation text. In fact, without bad faith, some presentations were left untranslated due to these difficulties.

Again, we would discourage you from using difficult words and colloquialisms. Speak simply and plainly. We think that is best. If you think that a certain expression is absolutely necessary to convey your ideas precisely, then we recommend that you provide also an alternative version in simple English for the voters.

Idea: "Be tangible"[edit]

How about adding new part? It'll say

  • Be tangible and concrete as much as possible
  • "I serve XX" "I am a member of XX" may be informative only for the people who are working on the same project, on the same activity layers, and relatively they would be the minority (even enwiki: enwiki is the biggest part ... but not the single majority). The majority has no idea what you are actually do. e.g. "Serve Enwiki Arbcom" - only several wikis (around 10?) have their own arbcoms, and they may differ in its function, so the other wiki people may have no idea what you are doing.
  • So
    • add more information, like "serve OTRS and help mail contact", "serve XX committee and help launch XX"
    • or utilize links, linked pages will be informative for the voters.
  • Remind most of the people are not involved into foundattion activities, specially committees or other teams, so just giving names are not sufficient.

Just a thought.

What is this all about?[edit]

I am a simple ordinary Wikipedia user/editor who got an e-mail inviting me to paticipate in some elections. Dear people, what is this all about?? Nothing is clear here, I don't know how to open an SVG file, nothing is said on the article page, everything is vague, cryptic, and you excpect novice ordinary people to understand what this whole "committee" thing is all about? That's a real problem in Wikipedia and apparently here as well, expert users expect everybody else to understand everything, all the guidelines, all the wiki tags, codes and "special pages", assuming all other people are just like them, as if I am sitting in front of the computer all day and writing wiki code and content. Well no, some people rather put their life's time in the real world. OK, you called me, I'm here. How do I vote???? Are there check boxes somewhere? Where are the candidates?? I mean, if I am literate enough to post this message, am I that stupid not to understand what this is all about and how it works?? No wonder only 16% voted as stated in the e-mail I received, becuase these are probably the poeple who think that all the remaining 84% are "Wiki-smart" just like them. Well it's time to wake up people. - John Hyams (unable to sign since I only have a Wikipedia account, and I, like other normal people, don't want more accounts!)

John - I'm sorry that the election material isn't to your satisfaction. I think that if you log into your normal wikipedia and then (in the search box) type Special:Boardvote, you'll be taken to a page that will give you the candidate presentations and the ability to vote. If you have any problems, please let me know and I'll be happy to try to talk you through it. Philippe 05:43, 4 July 2007 (UTC)