Wikimedia meetings/September 11, 2009

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About this open meeting: the three newest members of the Board of Trustees, Arne Klempert, Samuel Klein, and Matt Halprin, just finished attending their first in-person Board meeting. Community members didn't yet know them very well; and they wanted to have a public conversation about topics of interest to help improve communication between Board and community (despite good intentions, only a limited amount of this happened at Wikimania itself).

New trustees[edit]

Online introductions: (please describe yourself in two paragraphs and describe two things of beauty or things that make you smile.)

Arne Klempert
Matt Halprin
Samuel Klein

Meeting information & Attendees[edit]

mhalprin | hoop-daddy


...coming soon


This is a log of #wikimedia from the September 11, 2009 open meeting with the three newest Wikimedia Trustees.

<< greetings:  SueGardner, wikiblue, mindspillage, Marybelle >>

[14:03 EST]
<cary> NOTICE: Channel conversation for the next 1.5 hours will be logged
* saper has changed the topic to: Wikimedia Foundation, | Status: Up | Logging is ON | Prime ministers questioning time
<mhalprin> Hi everyone
<SueGardner> Hi Matt!
<cary> Hi Matt!
* mindspillage waves
<domas> Hello Matt
<oscar-> yo matt and all
* jd|homework waves; goes back to his exciting assignment :P
<cary> oscar-!
<oscar-> :D
<SueGardner> Oscar!
<Philippe|Wiki> Sue, no :)
<SueGardner> Hi!
<Philippe|Wiki> That's _sj_  :-)
<Philippe|Wiki> I'm here for support as necessary
<SueGardner> Ah! Okay :-)
<cary> We should have a conversation channel
* oscar- waves smiling broadly :)
<mindspillage> moral support?
<oscar-> sure
<Philippe|Wiki> Moral, motivational, whatever.
<cary> Philippe|Wiki is the "moderator"
<Philippe|Wiki> no, i'm not, Cary. :)
<cary> Philippe|Wiki is the moralizer
<SueGardner> Let's chant for SJ. SJ! SJ! SJ!
<wikiblue> what is SJ?
<saper> esjaay esjaay
<schiste> What ? Well, that's a tricky question.
<cary> saper, different person
<SueGardner> SJ is Samuel Klein, new board member. Initiated this :-) OLPC.
<cary> SJ is Samuel Klein, wikiblue
<cary> you met him in Taipei
<oscar-> in here he is _sj_ fyi
<mindspillage> has his list of "Things I amnot" too. :-)
<Austin> But he left out
<Jarry1250> Um, you need an apostrophe in the topic.
<saper> sj|| ?
<_sj_> hello saper :)  flickering back in
<SueGardner> Yay!!! SJ!
<cary> *cough*
<_sj_> 'we just lost wifi
<saper> Jarry1250: be bold :)
<SueGardner> hiya
<mindspillage> Austin: now we have to wonder if that was deliberate...
* Thogo is now known as Thogo|ausente
<cary> _sj_, put down the email client :)
<mhalprin> sj - were you at redbones?
<_sj_> philippe, thanks for the support
<Austin> He doesn't deny it!
<Amgine> Wait, what? PM question time?
<Jarry1250> spaer: One prime minister or a board of them?
<_sj_> so : the tentative agenda is on the talk page on the Wikimedia meetings page
<_sj_> hiya wikiblue!  long time...
<sfsarac> agenda.
<wikiblue> hey!!
<_sj_> The first few questions were consolidated from some long discussions with brian mingus
<_sj_> who has been activating for more discussion about suffrage...
<saper> Jarry1250: prime ministers' if you like
<_sj_> cary : thanks for the notice about chan logging.
<_sj_> we still say everywhere online that this chan can still be logged for meetings :)
* saper has changed the topic to: Wikimedia Foundation, | Status: Up | Logging is ON | | Questioning time
<Jarry1250> saper: probably better that way :)
<saper> Jarry1250: heh
<_sj_> I'll post questions in the chan 
<_sj_> and people can answer them as interested;
<Philippe|Wiki> _sj_:  is there value in pointing out who the board members are? :)
<Rjd0060> Perhaps voice them here for identification. :)
<_sj_> yes :)  a quick round of intros?
<_sj_> since most of them are tentatively presented to board members, please wait for at least an initial reply from one of us
<Mike_lifeguard> is the meeting starting now?
<Philippe|Wiki> Rjd, good idea.
<cary> I'm going to voice the three board members
<Annemarie> What the hell?
<Annemarie> Stop changing the topic.
<_sj_> aklempert is Arne
<saper> Annemarie: sorry for noise, but URL is useful
<_sj_> mhalprin is Matt (which everyone welcomed before)
<Philippe|Wiki> they should be voiced now :)
<aklempert> hello everybody
<Annemarie> _sj_: Activating for more discussion?
<Annemarie> That doesn't make any sense.
<mhalprin> hello again everybody
<_sj_> mike, yes, starting now.
<_sj_> and SueGardner is here as well
<Terere> hello everybody
<_sj_> the first topics are about definitions of community and consensus.
<Terere> :)
<_sj_> 1. What does consensus mean to the board (internally for decision making, externally as reflective of community will)
<Annemarie> I think the first topic should be the advertising of this discussion.
<Annemarie> Why was it so poor?
<delphine> sj you should preceed your question with a big QUESTION
<delphine> so it stands out :P
<_sj_> GOOD POINT :)
<_sj_> Annemarie, do you mind addressing this at the end?
<Terere> xD
<Annemarie> If you prefer.
<_sj_> we'll have time to get to new questions then.
<Annemarie> New questions?
<Annemarie> Who made the old questions?

<_sj_> QUESTION: 
<_sj_> Board decision making
<_sj_> 1. What does consensus mean to the board (internally for decision making, externally as reflective of community will)

<_sj_> akl, you've been on the board longest... what has consensus meant to the board recently?
<aklempert> well, not that long actually...
<_sj_> I haven't been present for the full discussion of any single resolution yet (though we discussed it at the recent meeting)
<Annemarie> Why would you have a meeting for just Board people to ask and answer their own questions... surely that could be done elsewhere...
<saper> so that's the question for the old board members :)
<Annemarie> Or in wiki form.
<aklempert> so far most discussions ended with a consensus. vote is just a formal thing after reaching consensus
<Annemarie> Oh, the Board has adopted the "not a vote" meme? Cute.
<Philippe|Wiki> aklempert: are you defining consensus as a full agreement of all members? Or the wiki version of it?  The term is used kind of oddly online some.
<_sj_> it's important for me that consensus is reached internally, and for many decisions recently it seems to have been full agreement of all members
<delphine> just to make things clear Philippe|Wiki the thing you refer to as "the wiki version of it" has different meanings in different projects. SO could you define that?
<aklempert> in a board with nine members it's full agreement
<aklempert> ... at least for me
<_sj_> +1  (and where there's some disagreement, it is important to discuss)
<catienpetji> Hi
<Philippe|Wiki> delphine: that's a good point and I think my point was that we should define aklempert's use of it, which he just did :)
<delphine> :)
<saper> _sj_: did you have any disagreement?
<mhalprin> From what I observed in my first board meeting, consensus did not always mean full agreement after the debate but seemed to mean "we've all been heard, and now it's time to commit to the consensus point of view"
* mindspillage pipes up: we don't always go for full agreement. But if there isn't full agreement we'll usually spend a lot more time on things to try to get as close to unanimity as possible.
<_sj_> saper: there were a few points where I wasn't willing to agree to a consensus compromise until there was more discussion of a specific point
<Annemarie> It's most important that Board decisions and resolutions be put up publicly and efficiently.
<Annemarie> There's absolutely no reason it should take days or weeks to do that.
<Annemarie> Can we discuss that?
<mhalprin> how 'bout another question?
<_sj_> which held up the conversation for a minute while we revised what we all could agree on
<Annemarie> mhalprin: One step ahead of you.
<_sj_> 1b. What is the Board's relationship with the community / what should it be?
<_sj_> annemarie : please add new topics to the end of the agenda -- 
<_sj_> we'll get to them as time allows
<saper> _sj_: annemarie's question fits 1b nicely I think
<Mike_lifeguard> surprisingly well, actually
<catienpetji> What's happened with the Wikipedia Video Tutorials?
<_sj_> Annemarie: I agree wholeheartedly
<Annemarie> I don't care whether you agree. :-)  I want to hear why it's been happening and how it's going to be resolved going forward.
<Annemarie> It's 2009. Wikimedia is completely tech-based. Why does it take weeks to edit a page on with Board votes?
<saper> Annemarie:
<catienpetji> That's a good question... However is the site for the "World Monument Fund" ;P
<Ludo--> Hi
<catienpetji> haha ;)
<_sj_> domas, can you speak a bit to this?
<_sj_> annemarie: there haven't been resolutions posted since I joined the board, and we didn't pass any explicit resolutions at the last meeting.
<effeietsanders> _sj_: oh?
<Amgine> I think, _sj_, Annemarie is asking for meeting minutes to be public, available, as soon as approved.
<Amgine> I also suspect the WMF board does not follow a formal business meeting format.
<_sj_> amgine: that makes sense.  the latest minutes have not been posted punctually
<Amgine> So, the answer to that is, there isn't anything to post.
<Annemarie> Is the Omidyar vote public?
<Annemarie> If so, does anyone have a link?
<_sj_> that was the subject of the last resolution before I joined
<_sj_> and should be published soon.  perhaps one of the board members who was around or Sue can speak to how soon resolutions have been posted in the past
<_sj_> after they were decided.  
<SueGardner> Sure, SJ.
<Annemarie> The vote still isn't public?
<Annemarie> It's been weeks.
<Annemarie> Ah, thanks Michael.
<mindspillage> The last vote on it occured at Wikimania.
<_sj_> as akl said, most recent decisions have been by consensus.  It's only the discussion- as reflected in minutes -that hasn't been posted
<SueGardner> Basically, to date, minutes are kept and published, and resolutions are published.  Resolutions are published saying (e.g.) here is the text, seven people voted in favour and one recused.
<Annemarie> SueGardner: Yes. The question is why there's continually been a long lag between voting and publishing the results.
<SueGardner> The secretary is responsible for having minutes and resolutions published, and managing the approvals process.
<SueGardner> The staff supports the secretary.
<catienpetji> Where's Jan Bart de Vreede?
<SueGardner> Kat is the new secretary as of Wikimania; Domas was the secretary previously.
<SueGardner> Does that help?
<Annemarie> Not really.
<Annemarie> Going forward, how can the resolutions and their votes be published in a more timely manner?
<Annemarie> That's what I'm asking.
<_sj_> to the broader question, I'd like to see the Board bridge this particular communications gap, and less specific ones about what the board is doing w/ the community
<tgr> how much delay would be acceptable?
<SueGardner> Maybe this will help: I agree with you that the time lag has been too long, over the past year. I am hopeful that the time lag will decrease in the coming year.
<Annemarie> tgr: A day.
<Annemarie> SueGardner: I'm hopeful too. I'm asking what steps are going to be taken to ensure that the hope becomes a reality.
<mindspillage> I can tell you that it will not always be a day. I will try to keep resolutions to under a week. Minutes may take longer because they need approval after the meeting.
<effeietsanders> mindspillage: Sounds fair enough. As a matter of interest, are minutes approved by email, wiki or irl?
<_sj_> ( Philippe|Wiki - can you voice the other board members in the chan? )
<mindspillage> Usually approval is at the next board meeting after they were taken -- because that's fairly traditional and is an easy time to do it.
<Philippe|Wiki> _sj_ sure
<mindspillage> But we should probably switch to doing it by email.
<effeietsanders> :)
<MichaelSnow> It's partly been at the next meeting because we haven't managed to do it by email
<MichaelSnow> Incidentally, that last resolution was published, what, two days after the meeting?
<Philippe|Wiki> did I miss anyone?
<Annemarie> Philippe|Wiki: You don't need to op to voice.
<Annemarie> /cs voice #channel nick
* effeietsanders suggests to move on to a next question
<effeietsanders> since time is apparently limited :)
<_sj_> we'll post some answers to each question on the wiki.
<Philippe|Wiki> Thanks annemarie - i'm incredibly client dependent, and probably should have known that one :-)
<_sj_> moving on to Board representation:
<saper> effeietsanders: maybe there's something else to community interaction, that's kind of important ...

<_sj_> QUESTION:
<_sj_>  2. Who does the Board represent? (is it always the same constituency? is it the same for all Trustees?)

<_sj_> I'd be surprised if its the same for all trustees.
<Ludo--> Hello. Ludo, member of Wikimedia CH.  I've a question about logo and trademark.
<Ludo--> of board of WMCH
* aklempert is just representing himself
<Ludo--> Does the board thinks that it should be possible for mission related projects to be able to use and reuse wikimedia logos and trademarks ?
<_sj_> for myself, I think that community-elected Trustees have an obligation to the community
<_sj_> but the role of Trustee is primarily one of looking after the long-term interests of the Foundation
<Philippe|Wiki> Ludo - I've added your question to the agenda ;)
<_sj_> on behalf of its contributors, both donors and editors and others 
<effeietsanders> _sj_: the foundation as an institution or the goals as described in the articles of incorporation?
<Ludo--> Philippe|Wiki: thanks
<aklempert> as a board member you have to act for the best interest of the wikimedia foundaiton and the wikimedia movement as a whole. being a board member is defnitly not about representation, IMHO
<_sj_> effe: the latter, through the vehicle of the former
<ragesoss> sj, that points to one of the issues that came up at the last strategy office hours: what is the community? everyone who uses WMF projects in any way? or just the people who go beyond using content and interact with other people?
<_sj_> that's a good questoin, which I'd like to put off until we get to the Q about suffrage
<saper> aklempert: I assume there in no imperative mandate, but how do you think should the community be represented?
<saper> s/there in/there is/
<tgr> interests of the foundation is an empty phrase
<aklempert> saper: define "community" ;)
<delphine> lol
<tgr> does it mean the self-sustenance?
<tgr> or following the mission?
<tgr> or some more specific goals?
<_sj_> I feel that the composition of the board is designed to provide representation of the views of different groups
<mhalprin> So I'm rather new to this.  But my sense is the board should represent the interests of trying to achieve the mission.  So we'd represent active volunteers, readers and even prospective readers - since our mission is to get all knowledge to all people.
<_sj_> which together created and sustain the projects
<_sj_> community elected members should certainly help represent the views of the community to the board, and vice versa
<_sj_> more and better communication is necessary 
<_sj_> (imo)
<_sj_> mhalprin, should we then find a way to let more of those people participate in discussions about the foundation, or even elections?
<delphine> what does representation mean anyway?
<_sj_> that's an open question
<delphine> I mean, I am happy that the community elected board members defend community interests
<delphine> that chapter selected people defend chapters interests
<delphine> and even that other people defnd other insterests
<delphine> :P
<Annemarie> Using IRC for this discussion seems inherently flawed.
<delphine> *defend other interests
<delphine> the important thing
<delphine> is
<Romaine> local projects <gap> meta <gap> Foundation
<delphine> that in the end
<delphine> those can be tied together with the mission
<delphine> vision
<delphine> etc.
<delphine> interests are a good thing
<_sj_> Romaine: <nod> the local <> meta gap also needs to be bridged
<delphine> as long as not all interests are the same
<saper> aklempert: people working on wikimedia projects, for example
<delphine> which, when I look at the board, is the case
<delphine> so can we please stop with this representation thing? It makes no sense to me. The communty is NEVER going to elect someone who has no interest in the communty, the same way chapters are never going to select someone who is against chapters
<delphine> the same way the board would never select someone who goes against the Foundation
<delphine> ie. their reason to be
<delphine> *
<_sj_> delphine: at least not knowingly!  
<_sj_> but this raises the question of who votes

<_sj_> from the continuation of the agenda point: 
<Annemarie> Greg Kohs for Board.
<_sj_> Is wider participation in voting good? If so, how can we expand the circle of trusted voters?
<_sj_>  How does this relate to who is able to vote for elected Trustees?
<Romaine> _sj_: see:
<tgr> do you see voting as a form of governance or as pure decisionmaking?
<_sj_> I think we covered most of this.  the most important part of voting 
<_sj_> in my mind
<_sj_> is the empowerment of the voter
<Annemarie> Lower the requirements to vote.
<aklempert> saper: they are important stakeholders, and therefore we seriously want to take their views into account. if you want to call that "representation", i'm fine with it
<_sj_> Annemarie: +1
<Mike_lifeguard> voting as performance art: it doesn't matter what you vote for; the important thing is *that* people vote? 9_9
<ragesoss> Annemarie: +2
<tgr> if board member elections are just a way to find the best decisions for issues of the foundation, the including more people who have less information seems counterproductive
<[Fontes]> tgr +1 ;-)
<_sj_> <moves the q about Omidyar up in the queue, since it relates to this as well>
<tgr> if it is about empowerment, you arrive to the opposite conclusion
<SMP_ca> tgr: +1
<_sj_> tgr: that's a good point, and something to discuss more widely than this meeting.  
<Philippe|Wiki> One point about suffrage:  It has traditionally been within the purview of the election committee, which places a great deal of power in that comittee's hands.  As a former member of it, I'd prefer that suffrage be more permanently defined somewhere.
* randmontoya ( has joined #wikimedia
<_sj_> hi rand
<Annemarie> I'd prefer we abolish the Election Committee...
<Annemarie> Or reform it to make it less useless.
<randmontoya> g'day _sj_
* _sj_ moves to raise the next question
* Annemarie objects.
<_sj_> there are lots of details to address about elections, needs more time than we have. 
<_sj_> annemarie: would you mind adding specific q's about election committee/oversight at the end of the agenda?
<_sj_> I'd like to get through the intial 5-6 topics before some people have to leave
<Annemarie> As long as you don't e/c me. :-)
<_sj_> e/c ?
<_sj_> to think about : 

<_sj_> QUESTION: 
<Mike_lifeguard> running out of time is no excuse to sweep aside important questions - let's try to resolve at least one issue today instead of just mentioning a few and moving on the next
<_sj_> 3. Omidyar Network grant 
<_sj_> What are the specific targets required for full grant funding for global reach, global participation rate, and percent of funding from individual donors?
<Mike_lifeguard> otherwise it's a farce (which enough people believed initially, let's not prove they were right)
* delphine clears the stage for mhalprin
<mhalprin> Bear with me - I'm going to post a longer background response - from which I'll try to take follow up questions
<catienpetji> Where's Jan Bart de Vreede?
<mhalprin> Omidyar Network, like most funding organizations, does not make its financial and legal documents public.  However, to respect Wikimedia Foundation and its community of volunteers, ON wants to make the basic conditions transparent for everyone.  Of the $2M grant, $1M is unconditional.  An additional $500,000 is conditional on matching of community donations.  The final $500,000 is conditional on WMF’s achievement of milestones r
<mhalprin> to "reach" (Unique visitors), "engagement" (active contributors), "sustainability" (community donations as a share of expenses), and the successful completion of the recently launched community-led strategy project (including board approval of the strategy).  These milestones are all goals that WMF had for itself; ON wanted to provide additional incentive to achieve these goals.  The board will report out on the specifics of these
<mhalprin> milestone achievements as they have been reached (or not).
<_sj_> ( Mike_lifeguard, feel free to say more about that.
<_sj_> (we can work on something more meaningful on-wiki
<_sj_> (while starting discussions here according to the agenda
<_sj_> (actually reaching a concise proposal and discussion of it via IRC alone is tedious
<Mike_lifeguard> _sj_: I'm not saying you need to stop here, but I am saying that the meeting shouldn't be beholden to a time limit at the cost of productivity
<mhalprin> apologies for the wall of words
<SueGardner> (catienpetji: The main purpose of the meeting was I think to introduce new board members.  JB was going to try to come, as was Jimmy, but I think they've been unable.)
<ragesoss> so you're not revealing the specific targets unless/until they are reached?
<tgr> mhalprin, so the exact milestones are not public?
<Annemarie> Meet and greets are useful.
<ragesoss> the targets, and the way they are defined, have implications for strategy
<ragesoss> so it seems like the community driven strategy process could end up at cross purposes with internal WMF goals.
<Mike_lifeguard> ragesoss: I think the implication is they will be reported upon regardless
<mhalprin> In keeping with ON's practices for other organizations we fund, we don't plan to share the exact targets, at least at this time.
<ragesoss> Mike_lifeguard: sorry, that's what I meant.  not reported until the deadlines pass or the goals are met.
* Mike_lifeguard keeps reading "ON" as "Ontario" :P
<_sj_> my sense is that the internal WMF goals were broad stopgaps in the absence of a detailed strategy doc
<tgr> the whole issue of the strategy project ending up anywhere is a bit unclear to me
<tgr> (shoot me down if this is off topic)
<_sj_> and that the strategy process will produce the first carefully discussed iteration
<_sj_> (among other things)
<Annemarie> Too many Mikes in here.
<tgr> how will there be a result of that process?
<Mike_lifeguard> tgr: Yes, there is a meta page on strategywiki with some interesting discussion on that.
<mhalprin> The goals are consistent with the foundation's direction and existing plans - we wouldn't provide an incentive to do something counter to the foundation's mission
<tgr> I have never seen the issue of decisionmaking adressed
<ragesoss> alright fine.  ON doesn't want to reveal it's targets.  But shouldn't the WMF be transparent about its own goals (even if they are stopgaps)?
<MichaelSnow> The strategic planning process won't really be complete until past the dates for reviewing the grant targets
<Annemarie> ragesoss: Yes, transparency is vital.
<Annemarie> It's the only way we can hold people (and funds) accountable.
<MichaelSnow> though I hope it wouldn't lead to serious conflicts anyway
<_sj_> ragesoss : these goals, including some metrics, are published every few months...
<mhalprin> One point to add - Omidyar Network's grant is unrestricted.  This is unusual for grant making organizations.  It allows the foundation the use the funds as it sees fit.
<saper> mhalprin: but if the goals are WMF's own there is nothing against making them more open?

<_sj_> from the rest of the question:
<tgr> strategy is about a five-year plan starting sometime next year, right?
<_sj_> Is the measurement of participation as 'number of users making 5+ edits per month' consonant with the kinds of participation growth Wikimedia will prioritize? (Erik Moeller's talk about how to reach 300 million active participants focused on types of participation many of which would not be included in the 5+ edits per month measure.)
<tgr> ON targets are in a year or se
<mhalprin> To support its mission, not a specific program ON wants the foundation to pursue
<tgr> this issue is overreacted I think
<_sj_> Sue: how was participation measured in the past? 
<_sj_> was it always according to one metric / outside of the recent strat planning doc?
<saper> _sj_: . o O (KPI's?)
<SueGardner> Yes, measurement of participation is "# of active users" -- currently defined as 5+ edits per month.
<Mike_lifeguard> _sj_: We measure "participation"?! :O
<ragesoss> tgr: it's the principle, more than anything. large donations tied to secret goals and metrics don't set a good precendent for transparency, which is more vital the larger WMF gets.
<SueGardner> Erik Zachte has been working to develop a report card of performance, which will be published to everyone, and includes that measure.
<SueGardner> It is here
<tgr> ragesoss the metrics are not secret, and seem pretty obvious to me
<tgr> i mean i would be suprised if result of strategy planning would be that we should have less active editors
<SueGardner> The metrics are not perfect, and they will be refined. They are a little clumsy/broad right now, but they will iterate.
<ragesoss> sj, you said goals are published every few months.  where?
<SueGardner> (Erik Zachte has been doing great work, though, creating this report card. This stuff isn't easy, obviously.)

<Annemarie> _sj_: I posted quite a few questions at Meta. I'll be very interested in the answers. Feel free to ping for clarification if necessary (I'm always around). :-)
<_sj_> (thanks!)
<tgr> mhalprin, are you connected to the ON grant?
<_sj_> ragesoss, some are linked from the monthly ED reports (comscore, et al)
<_sj_> others are published automatically
<tgr> I mean; does your role in the board include some sort of oversight of its spending or the achieving of the targets?
<mhalprin> yes - I am a Partner at ON and as such recommended to our Board that we make the grant
<ragesoss> tgr: it may not be a goal, but large projects have started to shrink in terms of active editors.  at the same time (as Erik has pointed out) other kinds of participation may be higher priority than expending resources to continue, against the trends, to expand the number of active editors at 5+ edits per month.
<ragesoss> sj, goals are automatically published, or metrics?  I know where to find the metrics, just not the goals.
<BirgitteSB> tgr:how could a board member not have role in overseeing spending and the meeting of targets?
<GerardM-> <grin> if amount of traffic is a metric it is something that can be gamed
<GerardM-> the volapuk wikipedia proved that
<_sj_> oh, I see.  we should develop specific general targets as well - to help us measure how we're doing.  
<_sj_> we should develop them as part of sp
<mhalprin> tgr: yes, I see part of my role as oversight of the foundation's/community's having achieved its targets
<mhalprin> like any other board member
<_sj_> I think this is the first time that these sort of broad general goals were stated; they didn't seem very exciting or unusual to me when I saw them
<_sj_> we should come up with much more specific and detailed ones for our own intenral use eveyr quarter or year
<_sj_> other comments on this question?
<_sj_> <I'll post the next one for people to think about>

<_sj_> QUESTION:
<_sj_> 4. Transparency -- How could the Board improve communication about its activities (and those of the WMF staff)?
<saper> _sj_: sorry, by "first time" do you mean "in relation to the ON grant"?

<_sj_> are there other questions about ON, by the way, before we move on?
<tgr> um, did we skip the wikivoices question?
<_sj_> no, it's coming up
<_sj_> but Matt will be less available in another 15min or so
<_sj_> so if you have other questions about Omidyar or for Matt in particular, ask now :)
<[Fontes]> Annual reports comes to mind. I must admit that I'm not all that into the foundation and maybe you're already doing that ;-)
<guillom> it's not really the job of the board to communicate about the staff's activities
<ragesoss> Will any of the targets for reach and contrubition require active effort to achieve, or are they realistically just metrics that will be easily met barring major breakdowns?
<SueGardner> Fontes: :-)
<[Fontes]> :D
<SueGardner> ragesoss: they're intended to be conservative.
<[Fontes]> many thanks Sue ;-)
<SueGardner> :-)
<[Fontes]> coem to think about it, I already read it :$
<[Fontes]> come* pardon..
<mhalprin> I wouldn't say "easily met" as I think everything Wikimedia volunteers are doing is amazing - so I don't presume it'll be easy.  But none of the targets do anything to take the foundation / community off its course.  They reinforce the current course/trajectory - at least that was our goal in putting them together.
<mhalprin> which we did in significant consultation with the foundation
<tgr> are the goals set in stone or acn ON change them if something unexpected happens?
<tgr> or, more importantly, if the result of the strategy planning is that other definitions of reach and participation should have priority
<ragesoss> Thanks, SueGardner.  I'm still not clear about what reason there is not to make the targets public.
<mhalprin> The goals are part of a "grant agreement" that we expect the foundation to take seriously.  I don't expect that ON would change them, but I've learned to "never say never"
<mhalprin> Our goal in making this unrestricted grant is to support the foundation / community's mission.
<SueGardner> ragesoss: I don't want to hijack this (it's for the board members, not for me). But if you want to follow up with me afterwards by mail, that's fine with me.  (Presumably for the Signpost, and therefore accessible to everyone.)
<GerardM-> the best reason is that you want organic development.. when you publish such goals they could prevent the natural development
<ragesoss> Sud, thanks.
<ragesoss> Sue, rather.
<SueGardner> :-)
<mhalprin> We're also looking forward to being part of and learning from the strategy project.  There may be additional areas of need that arise from the strategy project - and we are open to the prospect of supporting the mission further as those become clear.
<mhalprin> If the goals of the organization change (or are re-prioritized, as you mention), we might be open to changing them if we were a) very happy with the progress being made more generally and b) agreed with the new priorities
<_sj_> ragesoss, as a board member, I was mildly surprised that this was a real issue for the grantor, but not dismayed
<_sj_> they seemed like reasonable metrics to guarantee for instance that the foundation didn't become dependent on this sort of large grant to the exclusion of its core base.  
<_sj_> (clarification: I was surprised that publication of the targets was an issue)
<ragesoss> GerardM, is it entirely clear that we want organic development?  If so, why have targets at all?  Organic development could mean shrinking userbase.
* mhalprin is now known as hoop-daddy
<SueGardner> kibble!!
<kibble> hey Sue :-)

<_sj_> if there aren't further question we'll move on to transparency [and wikivoices]
<_sj_> [tgr: I don't think you will get much satisfaction; I don't think the three of us know anything about quite what is holding up publication]
<_sj_> 4. How could the Board improve communication about its activities (and those of the WMF staff)?

<GerardM-> If we wanted anything else we could ensure that we had more growth
<tgr> _sj_, im not particuarily interested, just got confused by the numbering and thought it has been omitted by mistake
<domas> organic development is the one which follows Gerard! :)
<domas> every other kind of development is wrong!
* domas disappears again
<aklempert> transparency is an important part of our culture, and i believe the board and the staff is committed to it - constantly trying to be as transparent as possible.
<aklempert> but sometimes it's hard to achieve, especially since transparency costs time and energy
<ragesoss> GerardM, or perhaps we just haven't given much attention before to trying to engineer the rate and types of development that will be best.
* delphine has always thought that transparency is achieved through good communication
<delphine> Sue and her reports for example
<delphine> are a good way to transparency
<[Fontes]> I agree ;-)
<delphine> I don't think that "the community" attending all board meetings would achieve anything constructive, for my part. :)
<tgr> do you think the board should go into dialogue about its activites, or just communicate them in a writeonly way?
<aklempert> imho, the right balance is difficult to find - if at all -- a little bit like the npov
<delphine> it's an ideal we all tend to ;-)
* _sj_ feels much better about foundation communication now that there are regular monthly reports
<ragesoss> One thing that might help would be to publicize anticipated decisions/discussions *before* the board undertakes them.  A lot of stuff, we learn about only after the fact.
* aklempert loves these reports
<oscar-> aklempert: i agree, transparency costs time, but why not also use the full potential of our many people in this especially?
<_sj_> my main concern is that we haven't managed to publish that sort of information outside english... 
<_sj_> and we have a parallel lack of participation in meta-activities among editors not comfortable chatting in en.
<_sj_> ragesoss, fair point
<Romaine> let the people first being able to find the places with the information would be my suggestion
<Romaine> easier
<Philippe|Wiki> _sj_, isn't publishing in other languages just a matter of asking for translations?  We're pretty effective at it in other areas, right?
<_sj_> ragesoss, publishing agenda items for future board meetings in advance is one way to help that.  
<ragesoss> sj, yes indeed.
<_sj_> and michael has published notes about upcoming meetings in advance of them in the past
<BirgitteSB> Advance agendas would be very helpful
<aklempert> oscar-: in which way?
<_sj_> Philippe|Wiki, I expect it's just a matter of prioritization 
<_sj_> of what is asked for
<Philippe|Wiki> Ay, therein lies the rub.
<oscar-> good question aklempert, personally i always liked the idea of a community-body (eg wikicouncil) to help on these matters e.g.

<MichaelSnow> As mentioned, I've usually reported major topics of discussion in advance
<oscar-> that is great of course :)
<tgr> what about the other direction of communication?
<aklempert> oscar-: i (still) like that idea, too. but i think this is more a question of participation/represenation, that about transparency, isn't it?
<oscar-> not solely imo
<tgr> do you think it is worth the effort to get input from the community?
<MichaelSnow> The Omidyar grant, grants in general, and things involving outside relationships would be an exception
<_sj_> philippe: I hope to see the future resolutions translated swiftly into core languages as a start
<aklempert> tgr: sure. doesn't work for everything. but generally, yes. that's that the strategy process is all about
<MichaelSnow> because those organizations may not want to have that be fodder for public discussion
<oscar-> fair enough
<_sj_> <waves at lebron, shim, spqr>
<kibble> _sj_, even trivial ones?
<MichaelSnow> My advance notes have generally tracked the agendas, though, but I'll see with Kat if we can improve getting actual agendas out beforehand
<_sj_> kibble: they are short
<kibble> _sj_, either way, they take time
<tgr> aklempert, and do you think it works? :)
<_sj_> kibble: we make many decisions that don't require resolutions
<MichaelSnow> though that would require them to be prepared sufficiently in advance, and they do change frequently at the last minute
<kibble> we need: someone to get someone to translate, someone to translate, someone to proofread, someone to publish
<_sj_> I also want to see those published somehow (when publishable), if under a better naming scheme
<_sj_> but for something to have generated a resolution, it needs to be at least somewhat non-trivial
<aklempert> aklempert: the strategy process? i very much hope so
<kibble> _sj_, not necessarily :-)
<tgr> i mean, when staff spends time talking with community members, which they could spend working, do they get better results?
<kibble> tgr, they do
<[Fontes]> I think matching set goals with achieved results is also a good way of creating a kind of transparency. It gives a clearer vision of what has really been done and it makes it perceptible for people.
<delphine> depends if those community members can help them in their work or not ;-)
<kibble> _sj_, for all intents and purposes, I'd call that trivial
<kibble> we already have a fuller results page and other information on Meta, that's just the little "signature on the dotted line" making it official
<tgr> delphine, depends if they can find those community members
<_sj_> kibble: I think it's rather significant...
<tgr> are our current communication channels effective for that?
<aklempert> tgr: definitely. - as long as we can agree to "community members != foundation-l" ;)
<_sj_> there are times when one needs to see what has crossed a dotted line
<guillom> kibble, vaguely related to the transparency/translation issue: last year, it was suggested that we enabled FlaggedRevs on the foundation wiki to streamline the editing/translating workflow; do you think it would help?
<_sj_> and should be able to do so without worrying about whether you understand the formality of the language.
<kibble> guillom, I remember Anthere being convinced it would help and wanting it to be done... I'm not sure how it would work for our purposes, we'll have to research that

<_sj_> further on the question about transparency:
<_sj_> 4b. What happened to Episode #45 of Wikivoices, where the Board candidates were interviewed? 
<GerardM-> enabling the Translate extension would likely do more good
<tgr> aklempert, sure, closed private groups work well, but they probably exclude a lot more people who could also help
<GerardM-> wikivoices, the person who said that he would do the editing did not do it
<_sj_> answer: the Board doesn't have any special knowledge of what happened there
<GerardM-> handed it over to someone who did not want to do it
<GerardM-> that is it
<tgr> what i am getting at is, how much importance does it have for the board to create open communication channels that work?
<kibble> GerardM-, can you show me an instance of the Translate extension being used for actual pages?
<GerardM-> kibble it is used on
<aklempert> tgr: it is important, very important i would say. we're open for suggestions
<GerardM-> not only but also for the localisations
<kibble> GerardM-, actual pages, as in content, not strings of text
<ragesoss> was there sensitive material in that Wikivoices chat that had to be edited out or something?
* aklempert again points to the strategy process
<_sj_> gerard: right.  community members and wikivoices orgs have both said it won't [be allowed to] happen again
<GerardM-> ragesoss no
<_sj_> ragesoss, I was there for almost all of the session.  There was not.
<_sj_> domas was also there the whole time
<OlEnglish> what about episodes 20 and 25?
<GerardM-> I have objected to give the raw material only to gregory kosh
<ragesoss> GerardM, why?
<GerardM-> public or not
<domas> I was sleeping
<_sj_> it was a peaceful, not terribly exciting session; the answers I found most unusual and interesting came from domas and Góngora
<domas> ^^ thats because I was sleeping
<_sj_> domas because he was sleeping :)
<domas> (and I couldn't answer to other people, I was one of first to talk :)
<_sj_> can we move on to the last topic?
<GerardM-> given the trolling habits of that gentlemen, only a public publication makess sense
<_sj_> transparency is a perennial issue, and some good ideas for future projects have been suggested so far
<kibble> _sj_, what' the last topic? :)
<domas> well, I enjoyed that gentleman on wikivoices
<domas> that was the forum where he was most reasonable
<domas> ;-)
<ragesoss> yes, let's move on. I'll just add that I can do a basic edit if someone sends me the file.

<_sj_> QUESTION:
<_sj_> 5. What information do you need? Are there ways in which community members can help out the board, or give helpful input? 
<Qcoder00> Hi folks
<_sj_> What areas of Wikimedia projects would you like to know more about?
<Qcoder00> I am currently working on a podcast script for Oct 31st
<Qcoder00> Any thoughts on which project might be of greatest use?
<GerardM-> domas you are correct ...
<kibble> Qcoder00, we're in an "open" meeting right now, I'll answer you in PM
<_sj_> This is a good question for Matt to answer online afterwards, since he needs more information than anyone :)
<_sj_> hi qcoder, chb
<OlEnglish> I think Wikiversity needs more promotion
<_sj_> from my perspective, we need direct input from smaller projects and languages
<aklempert> i would love to see monthly reports from the project communities. like the wmf does and some chapters are doing
<_sj_> submitting news to wikizine  - requests or announcements or technical notes/bugs - is helpful
<_sj_> aklempert, +1  (sageross, can you speak to the new signpost series?)
<ragesoss> sj, which one do you mean?
<tgr> are they ways in which community members can actually get heard? :)
<kibble> I think he was talking about sister project interviews
<kibble> which isn't new, but restarted
<ragesoss> a sister projects series for the Signpost is being revived.
* oscar- apologizes for having to leave and thanks all and especially the new board members for this open meeting *waves* ;)
* kibble huggles oscar- 
<tgr> if someone thinks he has helpful information, what would you suggest them to do with it?
<oscar-> :)
<delphine> ciao oscar-
<delphine> :D
<oscar-> bye :)
<_sj_> addio oscar!
<aklempert> oscar-: thanks for beeing here!
<ragesoss> There are also several multilinguists who've been talking about writing up some comparisons of their experience on different Wikipedias and their cultures.
<SueGardner> (I am away from my desk for a few minutes, but still semi-here.)
<_sj_> tgr: I can't speak for others, bu tI read wikizine every week

<guillom> _sj_, this latest question could probably include "how to reach the board, and in what case?"
<_sj_> submitting ideas at or in #wikizine is helpful
<_sj_> if it's general information about a project.
<kibble> (but some link to a wiki page is needed for more information)
<kibble> some projects even do their own "press releases"
<_sj_> guillom, a good addition
<OlEnglish> how is different?
<_sj_> that works too
<kibble> OlEnglish, different from what?
<_sj_> guillom: to make your point concrete, 
<_sj_> a wikimedian recently wanted to find out if the Board would be able to support their work on a free knowledge project
<OlEnglish> oh nevermind, i thought it was separate
<_sj_> in the sense of being a recipient for a grant if they received it
<_sj_> and wasn't sure how to pose that question
<_sj_> also one or two of the strategy proposals about what the foundation should do 
<_sj_> might hvae been left on a 'talk page' for the foundation itself
<_sj_> if there were an obvious place to do that.  
<_sj_> MichaelSnow, how have private requests reached the board recently?
<MichaelSnow> There's no particular process, so haphazardly
<_sj_> for public requests, it seems to me starting a foundation-l thread is still the canonical way to reach the board
<kibble> probably the best thing to do is e-mail your favorite board member, right?
<_sj_> though (as per ) that has its own issues
<kibble> hoop-daddy, what an interesting nick :-)
<_sj_> hoop-daddy is an afk mhalprin :)
<kibble> yeah :P
<_sj_> kibble: I don't like the asymmetry in that solution
<guillom> kibble, yes, e-mailing a board member (possibly a community-elected one) is probablythe best thing to do
<aklempert> the board is not the best point of entry for wmf matters. in most cases staff is much better
<kibble> _sj_, then they can forward it to board-l or someone better suited for the question, right?
<tgr> in my experience foundation-l requests have a pretty small chance to have any effect
<guillom> aklempert, agreed; hence why the question also included "how to reach the board, and *in what case*" :)
<delphine> "strategy, strategy, strategy"
<kibble> guillom, we dn't really have a clear list of who does what
<kibble> delphine, you sound like your arne
<kibble> :P
<Philippe|Wiki> delphine, my client is set to notify me every time that word is used... it just went berzerk: )
<delphine> lol
<BirgitteSB> I think there less a problem of people reaching the board than there is of board reaching all the wikis
<aklempert> guillom: for example in cases you tried with the staff before without success. if you're still convinced that your idea is really really great (not just for you but for wikimedia ;) , you might want to ask a board member
<_sj_> I'd like to have a simple process for the best way for people to reach the board
<brassratgirl_> BirgitteSB: right, that question was meant to be symmetrical -- both how can the board reach out to the community, but in board member's opinions, what information from the community would be helpful; gets back to the open forum discussion idea
<_sj_> publicly (something more lasting and effective than an f-l post)  
<aklempert> _sj_: i don't
<_sj_> akl, why not?
<kibble> _sj_, it's like en:WP:Contact us in a way
<mindspillage> I think it should be easier for requests not to get lost... but most people who think they want to reach the board actually would be much better served by talking to staff/devs/community.
<kibble> we don't post the e-mail address up front because people rarely need them
<GerardM-> strategy is what we are to do in the next five years.. what if it is something to do now ?
<aklempert> _sj_: because of the possible information/request overflow. we *need* some kind of filters
<kibble> it's like a wizard, giving you tips and explanations before a contact address
<brassratgirl_> mindspillage: right, so it's less a question of how to reach the board than it is an easy way to put ideas forward
<kibble> mindspillage, yeah, and board members aren't intended to be switchboard operators :P
<guillom> because aklempert doesn't want to spend 5 hours a day replying to e-mails to the Board in OTRS :)
<aklempert> and seriously. i want to spend the time i have (which is probably not as much as you are able to allocate to this) with important stuff
<kibble> guillom, that's why the board queue was closed, right? people weren't using it for things actually needing board attention?
<guillom> exactly
<guillom> that, and the amount of spam :)
<kibble> :-)
<aklempert> :)
<_sj_> aklempert, right, that's the process part
<_sj_> defining what sorts of requests if any should be sent in various ways.
<brassratgirl_> right; bugzilla is the more or less canonical way to do this for tech requests/ideas; but there's not a parallel mechanism for other sorts of proposals/requests.
<_sj_> for instance, I wouldn't have expected that 'sending an email to board-l' would be the right solution for any new request
<guillom> brassratgirl_, we may have some things to learn from the Ubuntu community there; I think they have some sort of brainstorming software that they use both for technical and for meta stuff (governance, organization, long-term) ; that may be a good tool to "put ideas forward"
<brassratgirl_> that doesn't have much to do with the board per se, though.
<_sj_> and people with requests that are really for the WMF or for the wikimedia movement as a whole shouldn't feel
<Philippe|Wiki> They do, guillom... we're actively looking at it
<_sj_> that they are being 'held up' by a nonresponsive board 
<brassratgirl_> guillom - yes! see ideatorrent discussions
<_sj_> when the board doesn't need to be involved in the process
<kibble> guillom, didn't erik propose something like that?
<cary> QUESTION: Is this meeting still going on?
<guillom> Philippe|Wiki, ah, good, I mentioned it during a strategy meeting, but I didn't know you were working on it :)
<kibble> ANSWER: oui.
<delphine> ANSWER: ? NO
<Philippe|Wiki> Guillom, yep :)
<Amgine> ANSWER: alas.
<delphine> lol Amgine
<guillom> kibble, maybe, yes, I seem to recall that he did
<_sj_> amgine :  ;)

<_sj_> we've come to the end of the original questions.
<tgr> brassratgirl_, bugzilla might be the canonical way
<tgr> it is not necessarily a good way
<kibble> tgr, well, you had a very bad experience :-)
<_sj_> another half dozen questions and topics have been raised and added to the agenda;
<_sj_> please keep an eye on that page for discussions of them online over the coming week.
<_sj_> aklempert, I'd like to continue the discussion of how people can contact the board
<_sj_> at a future point!
<_sj_> Philippe: would you mind devoicing the board members?
<Philippe|Wiki> no problem, _sj_, doing it right now :)
<_sj_> NOTE: thanks to Philippe for moderating!  and to akl/hoop-daddy/michael/Sue for attending 
<cary> ATTENTION: Channel logging ends