Dear Alec, Excuse me if it takes me a while to answer the questions but well I have too many things going on and a family to be with also as lots of people here too probably. I also apologize if I make way too long statements...
Wikimedia: library, school, museum
I read ErrantX's answer with interest; he said Wikimedia was like a University and I thought it was quite good an answer. On second thought I then thought that there was more interaction in the University with the professors and your colleagues, in this case I am referring more to Wikipedia than to the other projects I am not really familiar with, like Wikiversity. I would rather say it is some kind of interactive library, in the case of big languages. Unfortunately within the Wikipedias there are very distinct paces and densities. The big languages are generally advantaged because they have a large number and potential of editors. For some minorized languages, and especially the most threatened ones, Wikipedia/Wikimedia could become closer to a museum even if I dearly hope it will never be this way... I had the opportunity to travel through many wikipedias and I was really sorry to witness that some of them are not really active or depend solely on one person which in some cases is a devoted person/scholar coming from somewhere else. Some people from Germany tend to be very active in these projects and well we should be grateful for their action but probably also try to find other solutions to reach the communities of speakers so they can understand the(ir) interest in working on the projects. I also use the wikipedias on a daily basis with my students so we can also say it can be some kind of school, or at least an elemental tool in teaching and finding information.
My favorite candidates
This will seem obvious but my favorite candidate is Gomà.
- Gomà: Actually I like to be as impartial as I can about people, but well I happen to know him and I have worked with him so you (I, here) cannot really be (totally) impartial when you know someone. So, I would like to explain why: Gomà has done a very good job in uniting very diverse personalities and has obtained sound results with this group (you can see their reports) in spite of the anarchical trends and the frictions of having very distinct personalities and opinions that can happen from time to time... He also has worked a lot to provide solutions and new ways in the Movement Roles and in a lot of institutions, he is really devoted to the projects and care about all the wikipedias and the diverse languages whether big or small, official or not. He is a very charming person, has a lot of patience with me (probably with me too...) and he always tries to find the good side of a situation even when enduring attacks, bruises or anything else people can throw at him. In this sense he is really Catalan, Catalan people tend to look for conciliation even in the worse moments... On the other hand, I think he can be way too tolerant in some situations in which I wish he had acted more "abruptly".
- I also like and respect many other candidates (I am sorry this may be way too long) and try to find the good aspects of everyone but also what I deem to be flaws. My secondary choices would be (not necessarily in this order):
- Gerard (he is a devoted person in the Language Committee, he has done and accomplished so much for so many languages, has an interesting and witty blog and seems to be an open, nice and honest person);
- Harel, I was in Gdansk and heard his speech and I could realize there how much he cares about the whole thing and that he seems to regret the gap between some communities and the chapters;
- Millosh seems to be a bit like Gerard (with more hair...), I have heard very good things about him, how he cares about the projects and seems to be afraid that corruption may grow inside some structures but well I need to reread some of his statements to make a sounder decision;
- Samuel Klein is a great guy, he has been pivotal for some parts of the Movement Roles and aside from the fact that he has freed me from Meta jails, if there is to be a Catalan (Esperanto, Basque, Tibetan, Breton or whatever) Chapter, we will all be greatly indebted for what he has done or tried to do; he also works on a humanitarian project so even if I think he is not always responsive (but nobody is perfect, he could be spending too much time as Clark Kent) he is a great humane person;
- Coren: I also appreciated many things Coren said and he seems an honest, decent and wise person too but well I haven't read yet thoroughly everything he has written;
- I also appreciate ErrantX scientific and precise vision of things, he has a good and sound knowledge on many things, aside from scientific matters and has a userpage I am really fond of;
- Esteban Zárate: I feel some bonds with Esteban Zárate probably because he is a teacher too but well he seems to be an honest and nice person (probably the picture... I can't tell...) and not really a part of the system unlike others;
- Ferdinando Scala: I appreciated what Ferdinando Scala said about minorized languages (and he speaks Napolitan...) but well he acted too rashly posting automated translations that are hardly understandable in Catalan so I guess it can be the same in other languages he does not master...;
- William H DuBay: I also like(d) the ideas of William H. DuBay about making the whole thing less complex and
- Jane S. Richardson's ones about having more experts participate and
- Urs Wäfler (he knows many languages) seems a nice and honest person too, even though I am afraid that not being known in the Wikimedia sphere plays against you.
- The Others: on the other hand I am not interested in the other candidates because in my opinion they are either willing to act as lobbying forces for the Chapters or looking after the "prestige" conferred by the title of being a member of the Board (except probably Kat Walsh but well I haven't had the opportunity to see whether she has been very active up there).
Sorry again for writing so much...
A favorite article
This is a tough (but really interesting) question since when dealing with the wikiworld I spend most of the time writing/editing and I have little time left to admire articles (Occitan and Catalan are minorized languages and require some kind of restless devotion since the editors are not legion). I work mainly in the Occitan Wiktionary (I am some kind of linguist...) and less in the Wikipedias so the works and results are really different. I had a lot of pleasure improving the Wikiccionari and still hope to make it better... So, in order to answer I would say something about art, probably the article about Leonardo da Vinci in the English Wikipedia.
Leader(s) inside the Board
I am really sorry to say that I fail to see a leader in the Board. In my opinion it is just like the anarchical basic level of the Wikipedia but the bigger Wikipedias have the chance to have many people contributing and all these anarchies put together have fostered a viable project which has also been able to generate its own inner control structures (even if we can criticize them from time to time, nothing is perfect). I would daresay that the Board is unwilling or afraid to give roles to each of them and it is thus hard to observe/detect/understand what they do. To speak the truth I think that they do what they want when they feel the need (or if something interests them) to do something, and some of them do not feel this need except before elections. I know, and I am respectful for, what Jimmy Wales has created out of the blue, but he is not a leader and I am glad he is not since it is really hard to separate the fact of being the founder and an average member of the Board. If he took this responsibility he could be criticized as being totalitarian, so I understand it/him too well. I see some dynamism coming from some members, especially Samuel Klein or even Arne Klempert (I hope it is the right spelling since I have also seen it with an -a-) to a lesser extent, but they are no leaders since little people seem to follow.
- I like to be honest with people and here are the complete results. To tell you the truth I had a hard time with some questions since there was nothing in between and I am not sure of being this intuitive and my thinking seems to be terribly low even if I have forgotten one question...
"Your Type is INTJ
- Strength of the preferences %
Introverted (61%) Intuitive (75%) Thinking (1%) Judging (67%)
- Qualitative analysis of your type formula
- distinctively expressed introvert
- distinctively expressed intuitive personality
- slightly expressed thinking personality
- distinctively expressed judging personality
Role to play in politics
I hope WM will never have to become a political player. Politics can only be detrimental for such a project even if you can hardly avoid this with your choices. However WM will have an important role worldwide, since the freedom and precision of information/knowledge is already playing a prominent role in some states which are trying to control what people can read or know. In such cases WM should stick to its values, that is knowledge everywhere for everyone; and in some parts of the globe, unfortunately, where people are deprived from some rights WM obviously becomes a political player even if it is not supposed to be this way.
Wikimedia and 'The Arab Spring'
Individuals can do anything they want if they have the will/courage and the means to do it, respecting certains basic rules obviously... I am not too sure WM has a direct role to play there. The situation is pretty confuse and confusing. Personally however I think that the "revolutions" that happened there were needed, the gap between poor and rich people is constantly growing, and injustice there was far worse than in our western societies (they were not comparable actually...). Unfortunately I haven't seen real progress in the political/social situation and I am really worried by the fact that so many people seem so prone/eager to abandon their country to find a supposed ElDorado in Europe and get nothing but rejection from the Europeans. As stated previously, knowledge and education are the top priorities and if the access to Wikipedias stimulate creativity, innovation and news ways of (re)thinking the world, it will have helped change, in its own peculiar and modest way, the current situation in these countries.
Movement vision, scope
Big purpose, mission
Well, I do not know if there really is a big purpose and I do not really appreciate the word "mission" for historical reasons. I think however that the fundamental direction of it all is to try to shatter or at least overcome the barriers humankind has been erecting for centuries: state borderlines, cast divisions, social classes, ethnic separations, religious or political or gender positions and so on..., and it even allows to go beyond the limits imposed by your own language and the problems of not being multilingual, by trying to provide the best information in every language and improving it on a periodic basis. It is some kind of John Lennon's "Imagine" come true, this is probably what is intended in Jimmy Wales words: "Imagine a world...".