User:AlecMeta/Christmas Eve 2011- Commendation on WMF taking a stand
tl;dr: En.Wp is great, but there's still so much to do. We are the ones who should do it, we are the ones who should take the lead. Lots of people have ideas, lots of people have time. What's missing is leadership. WMF should take the lead, because our leaders are very, very good at what they do.
Recently, I've been "getting old" as a member of En.WP .
I gradually began editing En.WP less and less, demonstrating a pretty typical pattern of burnout. None of my problems were new or unforseen. There are rude admins, there always have been. There are overly sensitive editors, there always have been. Eventually they meet at the wrong place at the wrong time and demoralization occurs. I always wanted an inclusionist En.WP, but the people and processes of En.WP have evolved towards the deletionist approach, and that's a needed thing too, so that's fine. Both approachs are valid.
In short, "getting old" at en.wp just happens-- circle of life. I'm not all _that_ old, but I'm already growing into little bit of a curmudgeon at this phase in my life cycle.
I'm past the point where I can be useful to Wikipedia like I used to be-- it knows too damn much now, for one thing! After all these years, I've told it all the things I know best. And I don't think the consensus process for WP should be subverted just because it landed on a vision that's a little narrow (and more focused) than the vision I had. It's okay-- En.WP is what it is.
Hope: WMF and WMM
But, let's look bigger picture.
Who Leads? WMF or unaffiliated WMM?
Why WMF should lead the Movement-- A early Christmas Present
Today we announced that we would no longer work with GoDaddy because of their stance on SOPA. We stood for something-- we stood for our values, and I'm proud to be connected or associated with an organization.
Wikimedia isn't just a mere webhost, we're a movement that draws upon shared values and a shared dream to create a better world. We're not your mother's webhost, we're special.
And the leaders at WMF, while sometimes slow to learn to walk, and despite the occasional stumble like that of a toddler's first steps, WMF is doing great. Today exemplifies that.
We are not "just" Wikipedia. We have courage to stand up for something. The WMF, its values, and its leaders what set us apart.
A better world is possible. A better Wikimedia is possible
- Wikimedia is trusted-- for profit webhosts are not.
- WMF has a proven track record of proficiency-- new startups do not.
- WMF has a strong reputation for "doing the right thing"-- a reputation lacked by new startups and virtually all for-profits, with some notable exceptions.
Given the same exact task, I believe WMF-led volunteers can out-perform for-profit entities on almost anything that enough of us put our minds to. Even if we only _match_ the services provided by for-profits, we can offer our readers something that other places lack-- Trust.
Nobody trusts Microsoft, nobody trusts Facebook. But everybody trusts WMF-- we trust you enough to give you our money and lots of it. We trust you!
We trust you to deliver on your word, we trust you to be competent. But most importantly of all, we trust you to "stand" for something. Today we stand for a free internet. Only we could do something like that. It makes us special, it makes us unique, and I think it makes us better.
Leaders of WMF-- you have a higher calling than just Wikipedia. If you need to create a separate foundation for PR reasons, go for it. The people and their values and their leadership are what matter. Wikimedia is one-of-a-kind: its leaders don't have the luxury of being just protectors of Wikipedia. The movement marches on, and it still needs leaders. Some of you may want to stay behind and focus just on protecting Wikipedia, and that's okay too. But those of you who want to take the movement to new places need to start forming your own organization-- ideally within WMF but if necessary, independent-yet-allied.
I know coming out on a limb in a big way takes a lot of courage. WMF came out on a limb, and the rest of the movement is cheering wildly. Thank you...