User talk:GByrd (WMF)

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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello, GByrd (WMF). Welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing!

-- 19:34, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Merge accounts[edit]

Hello, you should probably go to Special:MergeAccount to use SUL and prevent other people from registering under this name and impersonating you. Thanks, Nemo 23:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Are you looking for a rename?[edit]

Hi Garfield,

I noticed your edit here, where you changed your signature to include (WMF) on the end of your user name as the standard for various members of foundation staff has been. Would you like your account to be renamed to Gbyrd (WMF) - it is usually used in cases where a user has an volunteer account and a staff account - but if you don't have a volunteer account, then you don't really need to get a rename.

Hope this helps,

The Helpful One 20:09, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Ah, I see that this edit might have been what you were trying to achieve. Congratulations on learning of a bit of wiki syntax. :) The Helpful One 20:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

A cup of coffee for you

Thank you for the quick responses to emails. I appreciate it. --Pine 22:40, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Signpost inquiry[edit]

Dear Garfield

I can't seem to locate the financial statement for Wikimania 2013. The statement was due in November at the latest, three months after the event.

The Signpost's inquiries before the event—about the substantial sponsorship and the financial organisation—were deflected by the Hong Kong organisers. Our most recent queries to the organisers in December were met with a disappointing response about lack of resources to do the accounts, and claims that transactions were conducted in a decentralised manner, adding to the task of producing a statement.

We note that a large financial and in-kind investment was made by the WMF through several channels.

I wonder whether you could link me to the statement on-wiki?

Thanks.

Tony (talk) 14:49, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Dear Tony1

Ellie and I have been working with the Hong Kong team to get a final financial report on Wikimania 2013. To date we have not received a report, but have received indications that they are working on it and plan on having it to us soon.

Gbyrd (talk) 17:17, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Garfield, I wonder whether you received my email, sent Monday. Tony (talk) 09:32, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I sent a reply yesterday. Let me know if you need me to resend.Gbyrd (talk) 15:46, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Staff travel budget[edit]

Hi Garfield,

I have some questions about how staff travel is paid.

For example, there's this discussion on Wikitech-l.

Does staff travel to events like this come out of the TPS budget? If not, which budget does it come from, and what is the total budget amount?

What variables are considered in deciding to approve a funding request for travel to an event like this for staff?

What benefits are expected from staff attendance at this kind of event, and are those benefits clearly demonstrated for most events?

I know at least one other editor has expressed skepticism that professional development conferences are worth the cost, and I share that skepticism, especially in the age of the Internet where teleconferencing is easy. I would be interested in knowing what research has been done that suggests what the optimal level of spending is at WMF for travel in relation to demonstrated benefit to the projects.

It makes sense to me that some staff may travel on a regular basis, such as recruiters tasked with filling certain jobs or grantmaking staff who conduct on-site visits of large chapters on an annual or semi-annual basis. But aside from these cases where travel demonstrates some clear and important benefits, I have some concern that there may be travel expenses incurred with little clear benefit. I'd be interested in your thoughts. Thanks,

--Pine 07:42, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Pine,

Staff travel for this type of event can be paid for by WMF as the discretion of the Manager. As this travel comes out of the managers budget they do tend to be careful about how it is spent. The budget amount varies by manager, but the total budget is $290,600 for the WMF. This is considered professional development and so the results can be uneven depending on the event and the staff members engagement either as a presenter or active participant. If you assume good faith on the intent of the staff member, then you can expect that by attending an event of this type that they will build their skills, build a network, and energize their professional engagement. All three of these things have value to WMF and the movement as this can create staff who are better engaged, more knowledgeable, and more effective in their role. When this process is done well, professional development is part of a staff member's annual plan and part of an overall strategy for that staff member instead of just a one off event.

Your comments about teleconferencing apply best if the only reason to attend a conference is knowledge transfer (in some cases free online courses and other electronic education formats are used for professional development) and if a staff member can learn in that mode. As I have written, a conference or any type of in person professional development, when done well, can offer so much more than formal knowledge transfer. We have no research, just a manager working with a staff member in good faith and fiscal prudence to discover which professional development opportunities are best for the staff member to achieve both the goals of WMF and the staff member.

There are cost the movement and WMF incur that in hindsight was money spent without clear benefit. Travel is one of those cost that when well managed can bring many benefits to WMF and the movement, our goal collectively is to do it as well as possible so that WMF and the movement feel that overall we are traveling to the right places, at the right time and for the right reasons.Gbyrd (talk) 15:07, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the comments. Does the $290,600 include Wikimania travel? Something I'm wondering about is if it would make sense to send fewer staff and offer more volunteer scholarships to Wikimania. --Pine 08:50, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The $290,600 does not include Wikimania travel. It may make sense to send fewer staff, but that is not related to Wikimania scholarships. WMF has increased the amount of money for Wikimania scholarships to $200,000 from $150,000 for the FY 14-15 budget and chapters are offering Wikimania scholarships in addition to this amount.Gbyrd (talk) 19:41, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Numbers[edit]

Thanks for this update. The numbers in the table still need to be changed to match. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Yes, thank you for the note. There are some additional changes, so we will need to update all the charts before version 2 of the annual plan is sent to the Board of Trustees.--GByrd (WMF) (talk) 23:27, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard#Accountability to the community[edit]

Please comment. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:06, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

(...sound of crickets...) --Guy Macon (talk) 20:43, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
(...chirp...) --Guy Macon (talk) 18:26, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Servers[edit]

Is the Foundation still purchasing Dell servers, or any other servers known to have been compromised internally by the NSA? EllenCT (talk) 12:12, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the Foundation is still buying Dell servers. http://www.zdnet.com/article/nsa-hacked-dell-poweredge-server-bios/ Based on this information it looks like the threat level on this issue is low, especially as we run Linux on the current version of Dell servers.--GByrd (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Do you overwrite the factory BIOS, or just use an alternative which keeps it hooked to interrupts? EllenCT (talk) 18:14, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
I do not have any information on this question,I am a finance person so this is out of my area of expertise.--GByrd (WMF) (talk) 15:02, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

WMF grant to the John Ernest Foundation[edit]

I see that this foundation got a $20,880 grant. I'm curious, what was that for? I'm not aware of any funds being allocated by Community Resources to them. Thanks, --Pine 07:45, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Disregard, I found it. Thanks, --Pine 07:48, 3 September 2015 (UTC)