Jun
23
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 25 Number: 75 Extra bis

Board election

Today, Saturday, is the last day for submissions for candidates for the board elections and the endorsements of those candidates. There are a now 17 candidates of who 13 have received at present sufficient support to be granted the right to be a candidate in the actual election.

The voting will start next Thursday, the 28th of June. A board election is not done  the “normal wiki-vote”  way on some page but by means of a special page providing private vote functionality in the wiki-software.

Statement by candidate Artur Jan Fijałkowski (WarX)

I’m one of those strange people who like reading encyclopedias. In January 2005 I read an interview with Jimbo Wales on Wizards of OS conference ;), since that moment I’ve been an involved Wikimedian.

My target as a person involved in Wikimedia projects is to create as much free content as possible. I have been writing articles for Polish Wikipedia, drawing SVG images for different articles (mostly flags, CoAs, some schemes). Now I’m working on something larger – every day I’m trying to establish contact with different institutions to obtain
free-licensed materials or permissions to make such materials by Wikimedia photographers. During the last few months I’ve send my friends to make photographs during several concerts (from which we have photos of stars like Sepultura or Moonspell). Now I’m negotiating with one of Mining Industries about making documentation of underground mining.

There are billions of photos, drawings, documents that are laying in archives waiting to be freed. I believe that we can do it! I believe that Wikimedia Community has the power to change the World and my main target as a member of Board of Trustees will be to move the steering wheel in this direction!

I hope YOU will join my direction 😉

Artur Jan Fijałkowski / Wikimedian WarX

Statement by candidate Erik Möller (Eloquence)

Dear Wikimedia community –

in September 2006, you elected me to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. It’s been an exciting, exhausting, and occasionally crazy 9 months! In this time period, I sent more than 400 e-mails to my fellow Board members, attended 4 Board meetings (2 in Florida and 2 in the Netherlands) and a retreat in Frankfurt, voted on over 30 resolutions, (co-)authored many key strategy and policy documents, and met with representatives from many other organizations.
As Executive Secretary of the Board, it is also my responsibility to keep minutes at Board meetings.

The Board acts as a group, and has, for the most part, done so harmoniously. I would be very honored to be permitted to continue to serve together with the present Board members. These are the achievements of the Board which I am particularly proud of:

  • We elected a new Chair of the Board, Florence Devouard, and expanded the Board from 5 to 7 members. We appointed Kat Walsh and Oscar van Dillen to these 2 new seats initially (they are now running for re-election together with myself).
  • We defined the mission and the vision of the Foundation in a participatory process.
  • We assembled a distinguished Advisory Board, which has helped the Board directly on many matters of critical importance.
  • We addressed some problems with the Wikimedia Foundation Bylaws. See foundation-l post for further information
  • We adopted a licensing policy which strengthens our commitment to Free Culture, while also giving every project clearly defined rights to develop suitable exemptions.
  • We oversaw the expansion of Foundation staff to include a part-time Chapter Coordinator, a Communications Director, an internal ICT manager, and a Volunteer Coordinator. Carolyn Doran became a member of the full-time staff as a very capable Chief Operating Officer, and Vishal Patel recently joined us for grants and business development.
  • We directed the largest fundraiser in the history of the Wikimedia Foundation last December and January.


In my personal capacity, I also represent the Wikimedia Foundation in the Institutional Council of the Encyclopedia of Life and have attended their inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C. I have met in Houston with representatives of several projects in the eLearning community. I have worked closely with Philipp Birken on coordinating a development project to implement functionality to identify “stable versions” of articles (FlaggedRevs extension to MediaWiki). I have lobbied for the creation of Planet Wikimedia and currently administer the English and German planets; I believe it to be an important community communication tool.

The Board has also proven itself to be capable of steering the ship Wikimedia through crisis. After Brad Patrick stopped working as interim Executive Director of the Foundation in order to focus on his work as legal counsel, the Board had to assume certain operational responsibilities. These were delegated to individual Board members
until a new ED could be appointed. I was responsible for coordinating the work on grants and other business development projects, for example, which involved weekly phone calls, work on specifications and contracts, and plenty of e-mail. I can attest to the fact that both Oscar and Kat have also invested tremendous amounts of personal time to help Wikimedia through this period.

As we finalize the search for a new ED, the Board will be able to focus once again on defining ends, rather than means. Many of the goals I laid out in my election platform from last year still apply, but I would identify the following five priorities for the near future:

  1. Ensure better budgeting and accounting of all expenses. Right now, the level of detail to which we can make specific statements about how every dollar by the WMF is spent is limited. So are our estimates about how much money WMF needs to spend in the coming months.
  2. Tell the real story of the Wikimedia Foundation to the general public: the story of thousands of volunteers collaborating to bring free knowledge to every human being on the planet. Storytelling is a critical component of fundraising. We need to be able to convey, on an emotional level, what we intend to do before we ask for money.
  3. Develop a strategy for the rapid improvement of MediaWiki technology that involves users, stakeholders, open source developers, and paid staff. WMF maintains an extremely important open source project; one of our responsibilities is to ensure that useful code changes actually get integrated, and that the project continues to innovate. I have already done considerable work in this area, partially outside my work as Board member (see below).
  4. Pursue at least one large-scale grant (more than US$100,000) that relates directly to our mission and preferably benefits all projects, not merely Wikipedia. For example, a grant that would allow us to coordinate a large scale content and technology development project on Wikiversity or Wikibooks could have very tangible outcomes.
  5. Significantly improve internal information sharing and transparency. We have made some improvements: Sandy Ordonez is doing excellent work as Communications Director and has opened up some processes for more community participation; the internal wiki has a defined process for adding new members now; Cary Bass was recently hired as Volunteer Coordinator to help volunteers find areas of organizational work; I have personally emphasized the element of openness in a couple of recent negotiations with external parties.
We could, however, do much more. Many current working areas lack clearly defined reporting components, which makes it difficult and frustrating for community members to find out what is going on. Even if a task may involve confidential information, there is almost always some that can be shared, and we are almost always better off if we do share it.


Whether or not I am re-elected, I have effectively become a full time “wiki nut”: My day job is to be the Chief Technology Officer of a non-profit organization called Open Progress, which develops structured wiki technology based on MediaWiki, notably OmegaWiki. I am also overseeing several other development projects, including LiquidThreads (making great progress, current code in SVN), Multilingual MediaWiki (going slowly but surely), and InstantCommons (about to be merged, current code in SVN).

I also provide hosting services to WikiEducator and serve on the project’s advisory board. Through WikiEducator, I recently co-facilitated a Tectonic Shift Think Tank about the future of MediaWiki, attended by key stakeholders including our own Brion Vibber. One outcome of this think tank was the creation of a MediaWiki NG list for coordinating funding and development activities on key next generation technologies.

Spending most of my waking hours with something or other related to wikis can be a little unnerving sometimes. At the same time, I feel like I am part of the biggest revolution in knowledge since the invention of the printing press. It is in the nature of wikis that
they can be very frustrating and very rewarding; the same goes for work on the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. (For example, I have had to learn that people from other countries do not generally care what time zone you are in when they call you.) If you do appreciate the work I have been doing, and would like me to continue, I would be grateful to receive your vote.

Sincerely yours

Erik Möller

Wikizine provides the candidates for the board election who are interested to do so a forum to present there self to the community. This is not a sign of support by Wikizine for those candidates. Publication of the exact text as provided by the candidate is in the order of receiving it.

Editor(s): Walter , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling. Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]],
and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time)
Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html   

0
Jun
19
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 25 Number: 75 Extra

Statement by candidate Yann Forget
 
I have been involved in Wikimedia projects since December 2002 (4.5 years), mainly on Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons and Wikisource. I am one of the early contributors of Wikisource, from when it was still called Project Sourceberg. I am admin on about a dozen Wikimedia projects and steward since June 2005. I proposed the creation of Wikimédia France in November 2003, of which I was secretary in 2004-2005.
 
I am a computer professional specialized in free software since 1998. Before that I worked for 10 years with NGOs on humanitarian, social and cultural projects. I would like to bring my experience of non-profit organizations and free culture movement to the service of Wikimedia Foundation. I would like the Foundation to be an influential organization, to bring free knowledge far and wide. My main input would be working on financial independence.
 
I was director of a technical school founded by the Anglican Church in India. As an employee, I also worked for “Fédération des œuvres laïques” (Non religious cultural organization), teaching computer basic to children, and “Partenaires” (Partners) a French NGO working on development and humanitarian assistance in India. I worked 6 months as a full time volunteer for Peace Brigades International in civil war torn Sri Lanka, and 2 years part time with “Friends of All”, an Indian NGO dedicated to improving education in rural India.
 
As being a board member needs time, I decided to work part-time if elected to be able to cope with the amount of work needed for the
Foundation.

Ads

 
I think that advertising cannot be neutral. Putting ads on Wikimedia web sites would change the perception of the projects. They would not be seen as free. There are many other financial possible resources, so resorting to ads would be a failure of the financial management to bring these resources to the Foundation.
 
Banding

Branding of a non profit organization is fundamentally different of branding of a business company. In addition, we should find a balance
between the independent development of the projects and the branding of the Foundation as a whole.
 

Foundation projects development
 
A business developer is useful to organize the management of Foundation services (datafeeds, trademarks for the Foundation and third parties products, etc.).
 
I think that Wikibooks, Commons, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikisource, etc. should receive more help from the Foundation. Some budget should be earmarked for their development, and promotion.
 
Priorities
My priorities are:
  1. Creating an endowment fund to insure long term financial viability.Developing other sources of funding (grants, business partnerships, etc.).
  2. Creating a technical roadmap for Mediawiki development. Implementing SUL.
  3. Developing detailed legal guidelines to contributors, particularly about copyright.
Others
 
The most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gases is to reduce energy consumption. Investment in energy saving is wise, both on a long term financial plan and greenhouse gas reduction. Buying carbon offset could be done, but is only a short term remedy.

Thanks for your support.

Regards,

Yann

 
Wikizine provides the candidates for the board election who are interested to do so a forum to present there self to the community. This is not a sign of support by Wikizine for those candidates. Publication of the exact text as provided by the candidate is in the order of receiving it.
Editor(s): Walter , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org Website: http://www.wikizine.org , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling.  Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]],
and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time)
Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html  
0
Jun
17
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 24 Number: 74 Extra

Board election

The procedure for the elections for the 3 open places on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation has started. Candidates can present them self until  2007-06-23 23:59 UTC on Meta. At time of this writing there are 7 candidates. Wikizine sends an invitation to all candidates to submit a statement for publication. Those statements will be published in this and similar extra editions of Wikizine.

New in this board election is the concept of endorsement. This means that a candidate will only be a candidate in the actual voting procedure if at least 12 users support the candidacy of the candidate. The idea is to try to exclude candidates who make totally no change in getting elected. This endorsement procedure takes place on Meta and is now open until 2007-06-23  23:59 UTC.

Because of this it is theoretical possible that a candidate presented in Wikizine before 2007-06-24 will not appear as a candidate when voting.

The endorsement procedure means also that (very) late new entry’s of candidates also will need to manage to find fast 12 users to support there candidacy. Potential candidates need to apply soon now to have a change.

Statement by candidate Michael Snow

In the media, certain people have tried to pit professionals against amateurs, usually to establish the superiority of one over the other. Wikipedia is often cited as an example of amateurism in this context.

The reality of the Wikimedia Foundation is much more complex. For one thing, although its projects are based on the work of amateurs, it strives for “professional” quality. Furthermore, many of the “amateurs” who contribute are professionals in other contexts. As an organization, the Wikimedia Foundation must balance these and similar considerations: professional and amateur, paid and unpaid, expert and student.

The Wikimedia Foundation is slowly integrating more professionalism into its operations. The Board of Trustees, which needs some people with professional experience but depends on them to provide volunteer service, is a focal point for integrating the two sides. As we bring in new professional staff, we must ensure that they understand our culture and values. Meanwhile, it’s important to encourage the volunteers to match them in the standard of their work.

I have extensive experience with Wikimedia as a volunteer, but I also have professional skills that can be of use here, and in all my work I try to maintain a professional standard. I feel that my legal training as an attorney would be particularly helpful on the board and add a dimension that is not currently present. I believe my familiarity with both sides of the coin, so to speak, makes me qualified to work with each. The professional and amateur sides need to be brought together, since the emphasis on collaboration and neutrality means we should try to maximize participation from each approach. Instead of fostering division over issues like elitism and expertise, we should find the value each side has to offer. For my part, I hope you will see what value I could bring in serving on the Board of Trustees. Thank you for your interest in improving Wikimedia.

–Michael Snow

Wikizine provides the candidates for the board election who are interested to do so a forum to present there self to the community. This is not a sign of support by Wikizine for those candidates. Publication of the exact text as provided by the candidate is in the order of receiving it.

Editor(s): Walter , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling.  Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]], and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html  

0