Talk:Wikimedia movement affiliates/Models

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Movement partners[edit]

I understand that movement partners doesn't currently have a process to figure out who should or shouldn't be recognised, so that way of becoming affiliated is currently inactive. Can this be made clearer on this page, or the page generally updated, please? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Mike Peel I added two movement partners to Wikimedia affiliation models/Movement Partners. Perhaps instead of making rules to apply to something theoretical, the precedent of these real examples can guide the development of best practices. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:47, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

August 2015 update - Chapters = Thematic Organizations[edit]

The August 13 update articulates no distinction between chapters and thematic organizations. If the public face is to say that these kinds of groups are alike in every way worth noting here, then perhaps at some point the concept of "thematic organization" should be merged into the concept of chapter for clarity.

As time passes it seems that there is less demand for differentiating the two. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:27, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Since the beginning, there has only been one main difference. Chapters are geographic based and Thematic Organizations are thematic based. The August 2015 update did not change anything, it more clearly articulated what currently exists. There were never any distinguishing differences beyond that. The AffCom has been discussing a RFC on the requirements and expectations of both models. However, just wanted to point out that this wasn't a change or anything "new" as the similarities are intentional and existed from the start. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 15:29, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent I have different memories that there were supposed to be differences, and that the resistance to thematic organizations was significant enough to exclude the concept from the concept of chapters.
If things are as you say, then consider Wikimedia movement affiliates and the links there to chapters and thematic organizations. We are presenting a very different face to how these groups are presented. So far as I know, there is a legacy of differentiating these groups, and I am not aware of any other place that combines the concepts in the way that this page does.
I like the combining the concepts, and if that is noncontroversial, then I think the concepts should be more frequently equated. Thematic chapters are chapters like any other. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:17, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I am not sure I follow. The descriptions used on Wikimedia movement affiliates are nearly identical and speak to the one difference I mentioned - one focuses on geography, the other on topics. Again, that has always been the only difference. The old documentation basically reflected that, and to be honest, we used the chapters documentation for both the original and recent updates as the starting point because of that one difference being the only one. This is nothing new. What other past differences are you speaking of? --Varnent (talk)(COI) 16:27, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent Sorry - wrong links. Compare these two top-level pages - Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia thematic organizations. The chapter page is a list, and the thematic organization page is parallel to Wikimedia chapters/Creation guide. Either Wikimedia chapters/Creation guide or Wikimedia thematic organizations should be deleted or merged into the other - these are the same guides for the same purpose with different labels, so this is an undesirable fork. How do you feel about merging those guides? Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:39, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: The forks are intentional, and I would not recommend getting rid of them. The main landing page for thematic organizations should absolutely remain, especially as the possibility of new applicants returns with the end of the board's moratorium on new chapters or thematic organizations. There are some differences in text (largely one references geography and chapters, the other thematic and thematic organizations), and the text is repurposed on other pages (using templates) that we might wind up having to create yet another set of text to support merged pages - which would defeat your goal. Additionally, we created two separate pages intentionally as there was confusion and problems with non-English speakers (primarily) when we tried in the past to use shared documents for the two models (which at one time was done with the requirements page). We spoke with a number of translators and WMF Legal when we setup these pages, and the method used was agreed upon as the easiest to serve all the considerations. As such, I would not personally support additional changes to the page setup at this time. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 18:51, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent Something funny is going on here with the merging of the concepts on this page and the forking of them elsewhere. I am not sure what to say. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:02, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I am not sure what to say either. There have been no changes to the concepts, and I'm not sure what "funny" thing you are referring to. The requirements, expectations, and basic descriptions have remained the same since these models were introduced. It's hard for me to respond to things happening that are not actually happening. If you can point to what you are referring to specifically, that would be helpful. So far you haven't pointed out any actual changes. As I've said, this document reflects what has existed and no actual changes as far as AffCom is concerned. I am also not sure what you mean by forking the concept. Can you please be more specific and less abstract? --Varnent (talk)(COI) 22:34, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent Tell me again why there are two different concepts, "chapter" and "thematic organization". Why are there two sets of documentation, two-sign up processes, two registration lists, and otherwise two tracks for processing when there are no identified differences between the designations beyond the title?
Why do you oppose merging the documentation for the two designations when there are no differences?
How does it benefit non-English speakers to be told to read two sets of documentation which use slightly different wording, but express the same ideas, and are in fact seemingly the same ideas? What am I missing?
The change that happened recently are the August edits which are, so far as I know, the only documentation to ever equate "chapters" and "thematic organizations" by every measure in the test. Can you show me any prior documentation which says, "thematic organizations and chapters are the same in every way except title" or is this the first time that has gone in print? Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:35, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Okay, I have basically answered most of these questions already, but I will do so again:
1. I was not around when the models were created, so I can only offer my understanding of the reasons. My general understanding is that it has to do with the exclusivity given to ThOrgs and Chapters. They retain exclusivity over areas within their specific model - meaning that it might be complicated for AMICAL to have overlap with chapters in the same affiliate model. However, the exclusivity does not go between the models - so there is no violation of chapter exclusivity when a WUG or ThOrg shares some overlap. Additionally, I believe they wanted to keep the concept of geo focused vs. thematic focus in different groupings for the quick ability to say "these focus on geo and these focus on thematic".
2. I oppose merging the documentation for the reasons I stated above.
3. They are explaining two different models with separate processes. As I already said, when we have tried to overlap the two in the past, it caused confusion. For example, one of the translations accidentally merged the concept and chapters and ThOrgs together completely and an applicant was worried they needed both a geo focus and thematic focus. So long as the models remain the way they are, it seems best to keep the documentation separate. What benefit do you see in merging them given that it would likely actually require additional text be created in the content template (which again feeds and shares model specific content across multiple pages), additional work, and risk of possible confusion? More work, more text to maintain, and risk of confusion. I fail to see any advantages. It seems like what you actually want is to merge the models, and this talk page (which maybe half a dozen people are watching) is not going to produce that outcome. Trying to achieve that through other less direct tactics is just wasting other people's time.
4. Again, and I feeling like I have said this many times already, there were no changes to the actual requirements, expectations, or guidelines in the August update of the documentation. We did that update in part because of conversations like this one. There was confusion on the differences and all the documentation was spread across a few different pages, and we wanted to clear them up. You can look at any of the page's history and see that they were referred to as being similar. The wording used on this document largely existed elsewhere. Compare just two quick example: [1] & [2]
Again, I want to ask my question (which you have still not answered) - what are some specific changes you believe were made? This all seems to be based on the assumption that something changed, but you have still not pointed to what existed for ThOrgs before that does not exist now. It's not like the documentation is gone forever, you can see the history of the pages and past content, what differences do you see? I am a little confused why you are so adament about this. To be honest, most of these decisions were seen as rather uncontroversial and were supported by the people we spoke to without much resistance. It is also a method easier for the people actually responsibile for keeping the pages up to date. Unless the pages not being merged is causing a problem or confusion for you, why are you interested in changing it? Given that what you are proposing has both already been tried (and did not work to our satisfaction) and would require a lot of work to do, I am not sure I get why you are pushing for it. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 15:32, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent The only outcome I wanted was to give an opinion. My opinion was that the August changes were a new interpretation of information that, so far as I know, had never been made previously. I stand by that.
I remain adamant in saying that because the comparison chart indicates no difference between chapters and thematic organizations. I interpret it to mean that by the traits it considered, chapter and thematic organizations are the same institution and process. You seem adamant in saying that they are different, despite you being the one to produce a chart which defines them in exactly the same way. I am happy with my perspective and yours and have no need to convince you or anyone else of anything. At the same time, my perspective is unchanged by what you have to say in explanation.
I still say that I fail to identify any reason to differentiate these concepts, and still deny seeing an attempt at explaining why they should remain different. It is not the obligation of anyone to explain further. I am only stating my perspective. I am not trying to imply anything.
If it pleases you or anyone else then I would respond further but I am happy with this exchange and have done what I wished to do here. I hope that likewise you feel satisfied by this outcome, or that you feel comfortable in engaging further if it is your wish to do so. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I am happy the exchange is over. I fail to understand what your point is since you failed to answer my question. I stated why there is a difference between the two models - to avoid problems with exclusivity overlap and distinguish the geo vs. thematic focus - which is a difference that the chart you mention clearly shows. I am sorry and confused why your opinion that this was a "new interpretation" has not changed as you have not provided any example of a past interpretation (as I have: [3] & [4]). It seems that everything stems from that, and while I fail to understand why that false perception exists, you are certainly welcome to maintain it. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 15:52, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Varnent Something funny is going on here with the merging of the concepts on this page and the forking of them elsewhere. I am not sure what to say. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:02, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I am not sure how to respond to your accusation of "something funny" going on since you have offered no insight, explanation, or evidence to support that statement, and seem to be ignoring the evidence that there were in fact (as I have said many times) no actual changes. As someone who was deeply involved in the update to formatting that you are referencing, I am confident that I would be among the first to know if something funny was going on, and there is not. But, as I said, you are welcome to maintain a false perception. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 16:18, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: If you would like to continue, I would prefer wiki over email. Thank you. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 16:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I feel that when people cannot understand each other it is more productive to talk by video or phone than persist in talking by text. I offered to meet Greg with recorded video or phone conversations that could be posted here. He has declined to participate. I communicated to the extent of my ability and fail to understand what is happening here. It seems that Greg and I are an an impasse. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:57, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

@Bluerasberry: As I said via email, I prefer that issues raised on-wiki be responded to on-wiki. Since you offered more context via email, I will share that here (since I mentioned that I would want to share our conversation and you agreed we could record and share what we talked about) and respond:

How about a different question - why not split user groups into "thematic user groups" and "regional user groups"? Since the forked documentation is so beneficial to chapters and thematic organizations, then why not offer the same benefits to user groups? So far as I know, all chapters and thematic organizations from now on will be starting as user groups. Why not let people understand from the beginning that they are not obligated to have a user group that is both "geographical" and "thematic", but that they can do just one of those if they like? Why is the forked documentation useful in one case but not the other?
No, I do not think you are lying. I think there is some organizational oversight happening here, and that culture changes over time with practice sometimes without people in the midst of it being aware.
It is "funny" in the sense that I fail to identify the rationale in what is happening. My expectation is that the distinction is historical or cultural - I always had the idea that "thematic orgs" were intended to be less prestigious than chapters, and that the concept had origins in Spain not wanting Catalonia to have their own group. The agreement was that Catalonia could have something that was not a chapter, which again is funny to me, because a "Catalonian language organization" is more geographically oriented than most chapters are.

As I said, there is an additional reason you seem to be ignoring. There is not exclusivity between WUGs, so the situation you are bringing up does not apply to them. The concern with that situation was around exclusivity, in part, and the models with exclusivity being different was an advantage. The idea of two WUG models was brought up and has been discussed elsewhere, but so far, has not gotten much support. Again, this page does not seem like the appropriate place to propose and discuss changes of that magnitude. As I said, there are reasons there are two separate models, and that is why there are two sets of documentation. Also, despite what you say - merging would require more work to maintain - we considered that, as I have said many times now. Additionally, as the documentation says, they are in fact not required to be WUGs first, they are required to have two years of activity and: "Ideally these activities should be done as a recognized Wikimedia user group". As the board has said, that was a misunderstanding from their letter. This documentation reflects that. As I have said many times, it was done to clear up confusion from these things previously existing across multiple documents and communications.

What evidence do you have of an organizational oversight? Again I ask, what differences do you believe existed before that are not there now?

I am happy you brought up your past understanding, as that seems to be the source of this problem. It is false. This documentation formatting change was done in part to clear up any such confusion. I want to be absolutely clear that none of the models are meant to be more prestigious than another. It is absolutely not the case that ThOrgs were intended as a less prestigious alternative to Chapters. Any notion of that was perhaps cultural, false, and absolutely something we would want to correct. However, again, as I said, that does not mean that there were any actual changes. That you now have a better understanding that there was never meant to be more prestige behind one is a testament to the updated documentation and not a mark against it. As you said, the Catalonia group could have an orientation that overlaps with chapters - which presents a problem as chapters have exclusivity in their model. For what you are proposing to work, our notion of exclusivity would need to be changed, and all of the chapter agreements would need to be updated. Again, that magnitude level of a change is not going to come from this discussion. I hope that helps address our impasse and I appreciate you stating some specific issues rather than being abstract. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 17:23, 26 October 2015 (UTC)