Grants talk:PEG/User:Dimi z - WMBE/Start-up Grant - WMBE

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Feel free to ask questions on the grant. MADe (talk) 07:33, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

I see no problems with the approval of this grant (except for the French translation which I find expensive, but again, official translations are expensive everywhere so there is nothing to do about! :D ) and I wish all the best for the new soon-to-be chapter :) Béria Lima msg 09:49, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
There are seven usernames, but an estimate of 30 participants. My experience is that chapter events have trouble attracting even those who put their name down. Where are these people? Do you have a tentative list of interested Belgian Wikimedians? Also, not to pry, but can you give us a breakdown of the French–Dutch ratio in those who are likely to attend? Which language will you conduct the meetings in?

Cupcakes? <Grumble> I suppose so. If it attracts large numbers of people. What methods are you using to advertise the event? So the by-laws are written in French first, then translated. How complex will they be? Are you basing them on the by-laws of similar chapters, such as the Dutch, French, German, Swiss, or Austrian chapters, with tweaks for unique local laws? Tony (talk) 10:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Last year's WLM had 12-13 wikimedians if I recall correctly. I do believe that we will be able to attract more people to the kick-off event, since I plan to invite many like-minded groups such as OKFN Belgium and CC Belgium. We have already been invited to their events and I reckon the communication with them is good. Also, it would be great to have people who are interested in WM, but not active yet. As for promotion, apart from the regular channels like mailing lists and press releases we're using guerilla tactics à la "spread the word".
About the complexity of the bylaws I will let other people inform you. Just so much for now, we're discussing them currently with the AffCom and one major focus is on simplifying them. There is a talk page on the WMBE wiki.
As to the language split down, that is a very tricky question in this country and I don't feel comfortable making statistics. We generally have more Dutch speakers than French speakers. We also have a few expats (and plan to attract more, since esp. Brussels is very international due to the EU).
The statutes are drafted in Dutch and then will be translated. Official translations are expensive and I love crowdsourcing such things, but when it comes to a document with legal value that is intended to solve conflicts in the future, I'd prefer having it professionally done. --Dimi z (talk) 11:54, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I've had to intervene on several occasions on en.WP and in chapter/Meta circumstances to chop the text back by at least a quarter, and make the language plain and clear. The real-world lawyers are the worst, and need to be resisted or they'll naturally make it complex and verbose (keeps them in a job). I've had to be quite tough about it; the language needs to be brief and accessible to all. The Dutch original is obviously the most important for brevity and simplicity. I don't share your confidence in the value of crowdsourcing in creating efficient, lean, transparent text/translations.

How do the Swiss conduct their face-to-face meetings? In what language? Will you aim to have close relations with the French and Dutch chapters (since you would serve much common territory with them in the French and Dutch WPs). Systemic collaboration would play well with the Foundation, I'm sure. That might be a good example to set the Bangladeshi and Indian chapters, which both serve the Bangla WP <cough cough>.

May I stress the value of attracting people to the kick-off meeting through a vibrant agenda disseminated beforehand; perhaps give people a sense that they'll already be part of addressing serious questions, or at least having input into their framing. I do wish you well. Tony (talk) 12:20, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Hey Tony, we will try to keep our legal docs as simple as possible. Thb, we started with very extensive documents, and are now considering which parts can be omitted. I have good experiences with crow translating (eg. for WML), we will see what the result will be.
We have the specific situation of having three well equiped Wikimedias (Dutch, French, German) around us, who attract Belgians. We wil try to convince those to attend our launch event. It will be important to promote this as much as possible.
We decided to use English as main language, just to avoid any language discussion, and to allow Brussels expats to join us. MADe (talk) 08:08, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Budget changes, change in project timingEdit

Due to delays at WMF level, and the necessary extra translations and legal fees due to the frequent changes in our documents, we would like to adjust the startup grant:

  1. Ending date: August 1, 2014
  2. Translations: extra budget of 300€ (mainly translations EN-NL), so €1303.07 instead of €1003.07
  3. Legal fees: high increase of these fees due to the regular discussions and changes to our documents. Extra budget of 600€: €1406.66 instead of €806.66

We would ask the WMF to increase our total grant amount to €3109.73. We will use the remaining money from the WLM grant to cover these extra needs. MADe (talk) 11:02, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Please hold off on (i.e. avoid) making any additional expenses around translation and legal fees for now. We will be making a decision on this request soon. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Example (unforeseen) startup meeting: July 3, Brussels
Hey Asaf, we recieved good news on our application, so I would like to reapply for our question above.
  1. Ending date: November 1, 2014
  2. Translations: extra budget of 300€ (mainly translations EN-NL), so €1303.07 instead of €1003.07
  3. Legal fees: high increase of these fees due to the regular discussions and changes to our documents. Extra budget of 600€: €1406.66 instead of €806.66
  4. Drinks: we had several extra meetings and incurred unforeseen costs during those events (eg. paying transport costs, paying for a drink). We estimate these costs at 10€ per person present. As such we would like to add 280€ (7p x 10€ pp x 4 events)
Please approve an addition of 1180€ to our budget, and the delay to November 1. The is due to the delay in approval of our chapter. MADe (talk) 10:47, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi MADe. These requests are approved. The new end date is November 1st, with your report due December 30, 2014. The additional 1,180 EUR will be covered by the remaining funds from the WLM grant. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Linguistic and national boundariesEdit

I'm uneasy about the whole idea of a Belgian chapter (as opposed to activity, especially GLAM-related, within Belgium). I'm struggling to see why our nation-state model is serving the WMF's sites efficiently in some cases. Switzerland's chapter seems to work OK, although I don't have insider knowledge about it. But here, why are our concepts of the French and Dutch chapters so rigid that they can't support activities within Belgium? Wouldn't that be much more cost-efficient than starting another chapter to serve the same online sites that those two chapters serve? Tony (talk) 21:51, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

This is a valid question, Tony, but deserves a wider, more general, discussion. As you know, chapters used to be the only model of affiliation with the Foundation, and that has shaped existing chapters and their bylaws. It may well make sense, if we re-imagine the Wikimedia movement, to organize at least some organizations around language rather than political geography, as in the case of the Amical Wikimedia thematic organization supporting the Catalan language Wikimedia projects. Perhaps the time to have that discussion is coming, but this grant proposal is not the right venue for it, and this grant (already approved) is still available for this group. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 02:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
@Tony: yes they can, but they are considered as foreign organisations which limit them in what they can do. The organisations I have spoken with do consider the situation that there is no chapter in Belgium a strange situation, and are significantly are less interested to work together with us. They also want to limit the risks and sign contracts with the Belgian chapter confirming to the Belgian law. (The European Union is not like the United States, but consists out of 28 European countries that work together, but each having their own laws. Each country is independent.)
Another strange point perhaps is that almost in all the countries of western Europe there is a chapter active (see map), while the country hosts the administrative centre and is often considered as the facto capital of the European Union, has none. Romaine (talk) 05:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
In the light of last November's WMF Board resolution, may I suggest that the goal be to form a user group with special and explicit ties to the Dutch and French chapters? For example, one person in a Belgian user group could be responsible for liaising with each of those chapters, and there could be explicit involvement, say, in Belgium WikiProjects on fr.WP and du.WP. I'd like you to consider building this into your documents, as well as the playing of a key role in terms of unique Belgian jurisdictional matters (I guess that's copyright law, if at all different from EU-wide law; and GLAM, WLM/WLE competitions, and educational activities). What, exactly, is unique about the task and opportunities with respect to French- and Dutch-language WMF sites? A lean and efficient user group with its focus on very Belgium-specific goals as ways of enriching those sites would be likely to gain AffCom recommendation for Board approval. What I (and I suspect the editing communities) would like to avoid is a huge layer of bureaucratic overheads.

I also don't know Belgium–Luxembourg politics, but it's always possible that the door be left open for including Lux. in a user group, I suppose. Your thoughts? Tony (talk) 14:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Things with WMBE are frozen now after the latest WMF Board decision, but here's the tohoughts on Be and Lux: Our original idea was to have WMBeLux and indeed we're still keeping an open door policy about that. We orgnised the three editions of WikiLovesMonuments as BeLux with Wikimedians from Luxembourg. At first they said that they'd like to be part of a common chapter, but a bit more than a year ago someone from the Luxembourg community said that they'd prefer to stay independent. We repsect that choice, but remain open for a possible common organisation. --Dimi z (talk) 18:46, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
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