Movement roles/Working group meeting 2012-02-12

abartov, abbasjnr, aklempert, anirudh, aude, bishakha, brassratgirl, effeietsanders, goma, jan_eissfeldt, lyzzy, sj, solstag

<-- february 12, #wikimedia-roles, -->

<_sj_> let's give people a few minutes to join. draft agenda:
<_sj_> lyzzy, can you talk about making a proposal for future mr work when we get to that?
<_sj_> effe, can you talk briefly about the item on new models (chapcoms thoughts on the new proposal) when we get to that?
<lyzzy> sure, what will we start with now?
<bishakha> I think we should report back from the board meeting?
<lyzzy> that would be fine :)
<bishakha> sj, can you start and i will add in...

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<bishakha> hi anirudh
<anirudh> hi bishakha
<bishakha> hey arne
<_sj_> hi arne :) ok, I hope to cover three main things in the meeting:
<_sj_> an update from the board meeting (including the recent emails sent around to the list)
<_sj_> plans for the March wikimedia meeting in Berlin
<_sj_> and a discussion of how to wrap up our past work for the use of future movement discussions
<effeietsanders> i would like to add one explicit point: how do we communicate whatever came out of this work group
<_sj_> good. we can make that the third point, it is clearer
<effeietsanders> or rather: what status do we give it

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<bishakha> hey asaf
<abartov> Hi! :)
<_sj_> 1. board feedback
<_sj_> this was the second board meeting where we reviewed movement roles work, and the board agreed to recommendations that were for them alone
(suggesting clearer committee and accountability standards)
<_sj_> accountability standards are already being discussed on meta, committee standards will follow in a few days.
<bishakha> These are currently being discussed and will be voted on later this month
<_sj_> the board saw new models as important to resolve now, and will discuss the specifics on meta, for resolution in march
<bishakha> the board
<lyzzy> there are several pages about accountability standrads
<lyzzy> which is the one that is important now?
<anirudh> I think what I personally need is a centralized outline of all discussions. ^^
<anirudh> (w/ links)
<_sj_> anirudh: agreed on the need for a central summary
<_sj_> we discussed with chapcom (first with the committee chair) whether they felt they could handle the expanded scope, then proposed that as the mechanism for starting to recognize other affiliations.
<_sj_> since there was not complete agreement on the details of how to recognize new affiliates, and the topic deserved broader discussion with the groups involved, the board set a timeline to find an initial way to recognize them by the March meeting
<_sj_> with hopefully a more active public discussion about any details that lack consensus over the coming month
<effeietsanders> _sj_: if you say are being discussed on meta, could you please give a link?
<lyzzy> ok, that answers my question too ;)
<effeietsanders> thanks

<abartov> Do we have a way to square the circle of 1. We need clarity and resolutions on MR, 2. Decisions are made by those who show up, 3. Very few people show up, 4. People don't like decisions made by only a few people.
<_sj_> abartov: public discussion, rather than working-group discussion once the issues at hand have been organized by a smaller group. that is the current mechanism
<lyzzy> is there anything else from the board's meeting? I think this is another topic

<_sj_> the board also approved of the idea of clearly wrapping up the work of the MR working group and pointing a path towards a future mechanism /model that could work on these issues more effectively
<_sj_> (including dividing the many movement roles issues among more specific groups, something that is already happening)
<_sj_> bishakha: did I leave anything out? (& arne)
<bishakha> I think that's the broad gist of it, unless people have specific questions
<lyzzy> question: so you plan to make 3 decisions in berlin:
<lyzzy> 1. about accountability standards

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<lyzzy> 2. committee standards
<lyzzy> 3. the announced ones about set movement roles and the change in chap com's responsibilities
<_sj_> all three are planned to be resolved in advance of berlin.

<_sj_> committee and accountability standards are non-binding recommendations, that others can refer to. (the board is doing that on meta as a matter of course -- moving towards having more resolutions drafted publicly)
<_sj_> btw:
<lyzzy> ah, thanks for the link
<Goma_> Where can we give our view to committee standards?
<lyzzy> are you going to announce the drafts to get more input?
<_sj_> yes, likely tonight or tomorrow.
<_sj_> hi abbas! goma: soon I hope
[UPDATE: now posted @ ]

<effeietsanders> _sj_: so if I understand correctly, the accountability standards are not based on MR work right?
<Abbasjnr> hi all
<bishakha_> hi abbas
<effeietsanders> but rather on auditcom discussions
<Goma_> effeietsanders: I see certain level of overlaping in accountability standards
<_sj_> the auditcom was asked to develop standards in consultation with chapter treasurers, based on the movement roles work.
<_sj_> that is what they are currently doing (with a small discussion on the treasurers mailing list) updating the page on meta as a result.
<_sj_> any other questions?
<effeietsanders> ok, I'll just see that still as non-MR work
<effeietsanders> (I know it falls within our scope, but I can't really follow how that came from it)

  • lyzzy is thinking of updating the update to make clear where the current discussion takes place

<effeietsanders> lyzzy: yes, that would probably be helpful. Too many discussions have been going on
<_sj_> +1
<effeietsanders> I know many people who stopped reading after that horror-novel on Sue's recommandation talk page
<bishakha_> effiets: That was way way back, and let's not demonize!
<effeietsanders> bishakha_: I meant it was horrible to read :)
<_sj_> (we need a weekly newspaper just to follow these things)
<effeietsanders> and people are still tired
<Goma_> effeietsanders: you never seems tired
<effeietsanders> so they definitely need a persuation to join a discussion
<bishakha_> Just to add, over the next month - starting tomorrow - we hope to have a public discussion on new models and the proposed affiliations committee
<bishakha_> both to iron out existing areas which still need clarification or consensus
<bishakha_> and to start discussing implementation details

<_sj_> if we are done with this topic, lyzzy: can you speak to 2. Movement roles at Wikimedia Conference/Chapters Meeting in March 2012
<lyzzy> ok
<_sj_> bishakha: yes, we should come back to that. it's specifically on the agenda.
<anirudh> where is the discussion happening?
<Abbasjnr> Slightly off-topic: is Jon's contract over, or what?
<bishakha_> sj: good!
<bishakha_> anirudh: a letter will be sent and the discussion will be on meta
<anirudh> ty
<bishakha_> abbas: afaik, jon's contract ended in oct
<lyzzy> as you might know i've had some problems with the direction mr is going, better to say with the lack of direction and some other lacks as well (information, participation, decisions, discussions …) thinking about how this could be solved I've asked the board to officially close mr
<bishakha_> lyzzy: you're not alone, and i say this in the nicest way possible  :)
<lyzzy> :)
<Goma_> lyzzy: I remember in Berlin you suggested we needed somebody leading the process. But no voluteer apeared.
<_sj_> abbas: yes, the initial role of the moderators ended last summer.
<bishakha_> lyzzy: my understanding is that we would draw a line below mr, ending this phase, after the berlin meeting
<lyzzy> what i still think is in our responsibility is to wrap up our work and propose where are better places to follow up
<lyzzy> and that is mine, too
<_sj_> (jon and I cleaned up the main page and summarized some of the discussion from Haifa, but that was the last)
<bishakha_> lyzzy: how would you suggest we do that?
<solstag_> hi everybody

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<lyzzy> 1. make summarie on all important mr-pages
<lyzzy> 2. think about places where the open ends can be connected
<lyzzy> i think about other committees picking up special issues
<anirudh> And possibly create a centralized page linking to all discussions broadly relevant for MR.
<lyzzy> anirudh: xes!
<lyzzy> y
<bishakha_> anirudh, +1
<_sj_> <hi solstag, jan> lyzzy, ani: agreed
<bishakha_> it is really confusing to go through mr at this point
<effeietsanders> i think the linking is relative easy and safe... the summarizing is harder
<Goma_> lyzzy: I miss a picture of all roles and players.
<lyzzy> and 3. close it up with a proposal which shows who is responsible for working on the different parts of mr furtheron
<_sj_> we must organize a proper overview. It is hard, but it is what everyone will read.
<bishakha_> effiets: as a first step, should we link all the key pages to a centralized page?
<bishakha_> summary could be next step?
<lyzzy> Goma_: that is one of the things that needs to be defined
<lyzzy> i personally think that we need to think about the proposed groups and try to define their rights and their duties more than just describing how they are defined
<lyzzy> your table could be a start for that
<_sj_> effe, ani: we can reclaim the main MR page for this purpose
<bishakha_> sj: and have the overview there too
<lyzzy> Goma_: sry, I#ve mixed your new table with this diagram
<bishakha_> lyzzy: hopefully that will be part of the public discussion starting tomorrow
<_sj_> lyzzy, so to summarize:
<_sj_> 1. summaries, 2. identify clusters of open topics, 3. close our work with a future roadmap
<lyzzy> :) yes <lyzzy> in addition to 2.: propose places to follow up
<lyzzy> (future roadmap … should read to the end before typing ...)
<_sj_> I like this.
<_sj_> in addition to 3. I would add "identify parallel work taking place today"
<_sj_> as lodewijk notes, auditcom and MR have had some similar discussions; similarly with other groups.
<lyzzy> ok
<lyzzy> so: question to you: what do you think about it?
<lyzzy> and chap com as well i think

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<effeietsanders> chapcom has had very little real discussions about this
<aude> hi
<_sj_> <hi aude>
<_sj_> this seems like a good set of goals for us for Berlin
<effeietsanders> some practical about possible implementation and consequences for chapcom - but that is something else
<lyzzy> effeietsanders: everything in today's discussions and issues is interwoven
<aude> i know there are some concerns about themed "chapter" or partner organizations like a glamwiki chapter
<lyzzy> sj leads me to another question: who is coming to berlin?
<Goma_> effeietsanders: I think that-s fine to extend ChapCom scope but then perhaps there apears the need of specific group in chapCom devoted to promote those new groups.

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<effeietsanders> Goma_: that depends on the role of chapcom in that
<_sj_> aude: we are discussing how to close current MR work by berlin. lyzzy's proposal: 1. summarize current work, 2. identify clusters of open topics, 3. close our work with a future roadmap
<lyzzy> aude: yes. bishakha_saud that the public discussion about that starts tomorrow
<lyzzy> and i really hope that many people give input to the board's draft
<effeietsanders> but i don't have the feeling at least that the current members of chapcom would be 'opposed' to suggesting other working forms than chapters to groups
<effeietsanders> (history has proven that already in some cases)
<_sj_> goma, effe, aude: let's finish this agenda point, that is the next one
<bishakha_> effiets: that's good to know (sorry sj)
<effeietsanders> _sj_: yeah, good points, only 5 minutes or so left :)

<bishakha_> sj: also, how long do we go?
<_sj_> :) lyzzy: can you share that proposal on the MR talk page?
<_sj_> I think that is the best public alternative to our mailing list at present.
<_sj_> I've asked about making our m.list public, and barring objections we will have one soon.
<lyzzy> sure, not today, maybe not until tuesday
<lyzzy> good to know
<lyzzy> back to my question: i will be in berlin, who else? ok for me
<_sj_> ok. can we hold the meeting for another 15 minutes?
<_sj_> then those who want to stay can continue to discuss open issues, such as the ongoing disc. on meta about new models.
<_sj_> I will be in berlin. active chapcom members will be there.
<effeietsanders> lyzzy: I don't know yet if I'd be welcome since I'm unsure if I'll be in chapcom :)
<Jan_eissfeldt> of course y re
<bishakha_> eff :)
<_sj_> MR participants will be welcome in their own right. the organizers have set a room aside for related discussions.
<Goma_> I suggest having a meeting in Belin the day before Chapters meeting like we did last year
<effeietsanders> Goma_: that would not work very well this year, considering that chapcom will have a meeting then too
<effeietsanders> and there's quite some overlap
<_sj_> we could have an afternoon meeting the day before the chapters meeting
<Goma_> And invite ChapCom members to our meeting
<_sj_> some would not be able to join (thanks to the chap. meeting) but there could be some overlap on both halves of the day.
<_sj_> the board observers to chapcom are welcome there, so we would join the chapcom meetingi n the morning
<effeietsanders> it would be a pity to have a meeting with half the group in either group
<_sj_> how many of the applicants to join chapcom were active in MR? (not including current chapcom members)
<lyzzy> what about meeting together at a framed time of the day?
<Goma_> They still don't know all the applicants there is still a couple of days to apply
<lyzzy> chapcom + mr
<effeietsanders> lyzzy: that would still not allow chapcom to work through its issues :)
<lyzzy> huh, sounds like too much to resolve in one meeting ;)
<effeietsanders> _sj_: indeed not all applicants are known, but from the top of my head 2 or 3
<_sj_> why don't we pose the question to chapcom? if they see part of their agenda that it would be appropriate to discuss with other MR members, then that would be fine.
<_sj_> and we will see how many MR members who are not on chapcom plan to be in berlin, or could be there the day before.
<bishakha_> sj +1
<lyzzy> sj, as liaison to the board: can you do this?
<_sj_> yes. I will ask after this meeting.
<lyzzy> ok

<_sj_> last major point: current proposals on meta
<_sj_> effe: do you want to say a bit about chapcom's review of that proposal?
<effeietsanders> there is none
<_sj_> aude, this will be announced soon; that talk page is the best place to post thoughts and concerns
<aude> _sj_: i hope discussion comes before board decision
<_sj_> aude: the board decision will be in mid-march
<aude> hrm...
<Goma_> effeietsanders: this is because they completely agree or because they have not discussed it?
<effeietsanders> threre were some individuals speaking out their thoughts about some of the implementation if this were to be the situation (I think chapcom members were a bit surprised by this sudden 'request' by the board). But there is no real review and certainly not by chapcom
<effeietsanders> Goma_: I don't think chapcom is the place to put such decisions really, that discussion should be had within the movement

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<anirudh> hi phoebe
<effeietsanders> chapcom is then mainly an implementation body
<_sj_> effe, that is the summary I meant. thanks!
<_sj_> certainly the discussion about models should be had with the community.
<bishakha> connection dropped, sorry
<_sj_> I would like to hear discussion from MR members interested in the topic about how to improve the idea, or make it better aligned with our existing discussion.
<_sj_> galileo and others suggested that things we agreed on last year might have changed thanks to other changes in the movement; those should also be articulated.
<_sj_> aude: can you say more?
<effeietsanders> ok, i'm going too
<Goma_> I have to leave. Left the chanel open and read you later. Goodbye.
<_sj_> ok. we've covered the non-open topics. thanks all.

<_sj_> aude, if you can stay, would be good to hear your thoughts. or you can publish them. (ditto to solstag)
<lyzzy> thanks to all, i have to work, bye
<_sj_> asaf: btw, what are your thoughts on squaring that circle? I see a similar dilemma looming for any large evaluation/assessment group
<abartov_> I'm all for public discussion, but it seems to me that very few people show up (point 3 in my comment above) to do the hard work of MR even in public discussion.
<abartov_> Frankly, it seems the proportion of people ready to get upset about MR recommendations and board decisions is far larger than the proportion of people willing to engage with MR and come up with constructive suggestions.
<abartov_> Some would observe "'twas ever so". They would be right.
<_sj_> <nod>
<aude> _sj_: i don't speak for glamwiki and nobody does? but for example, a glamwiki chapter would overlap the work of geographic chapters which do glam
<aude> that's the concern and people are happy thus far to work with chapters or other means and no one wants a themed chapter or org
<aude> at least, another example besides glamwik would be good
<anirudh> thanks, _sj_
<_sj_> (and if you get an itch to organize links on a central page, ping me and we can work on it together)
<_sj_> aude: I don't think there is any call for a glam partner organization.
<aude> _sj_: it was cited as an example of one
<_sj_> that was because a couple glam folks were talking about a global entity last year
<_sj_> then decided it would be hard to deal with overhead and asked if the WMF might develop a set of staff to deal with that
<_sj_> it is not the best example of a group suitable to be a partner org, even if there was demand. cultural groups with a clear audience, or groups representing those who are not represented by a geographic body, are better.
<brassratgirl> abartov - easier to criticize off-the-cuff that commit to a lot of work trying to make it better; I am often guilty of that
<brassratgirl> there's an argument in there somewhere about how the only reason wikipedia works is b/c it's actually easier to just fix the stupid page than to complain about it ;)

<aude> _sj_: examples?
<_sj_> A body dedicated to underrepresented regions that don't have enough local community to form a national chapter
<_sj_> Amical for catalonian culture
<aude> _sj_: like a meetup group?
<anirudh> perhaps a group promoting Tamil Wikipedia projects cross-border - India (TN), Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore
<_sj_> A legal non-profit with dozens of active members and a history of significant program work supporting wikimedia.
<anirudh> *Wikimedia
<_sj_> with critical-mass, transparency, and accountability requirements similar to those of geographic chapters
<_sj_> ani: yes. or the work of a whole language-cluster the threshhold for recognition would be significance of a group's work to our projects.
<Jan_eissfeldt> the problem turns up everytime your chapter/national borders are not in line with the language project versions anyway. WMAT, WMDE, etc. are running in cordination problems in regard to university outreach as we chat, i came across a lovely new project in the UK with german impact just yesterday and picked up a catalan-english-catalan (wikipedia) university project earlier month as well and they specificly declined to be formal
<_sj_> coordination problems are real. community-chapter, chapter-chapter, chapter-foundation, community-foundation all have overlaps.
<Jan_eissfeldt> i ve a hard time telling profs. in austria & switzerland that they can't get formal support but their frineds 15 km north can, just because the responsible chapter(s) are stuck in a formal structure thats outdated
<_sj_> a policy of transparency and actively informing others about your work helps. and I suspect we could improve on the current model by having a system where anyone could propose an idea for support of a given project (say a group of teachers in switzerland)
<_sj_> which would go through a defined list of interested groups for "first refusal" "second refusal" &c. the red cross does this for international aid;
a lot of their aid is multilateral: meaning the national committee that provides the aid is not from the country in which it is received. but there is a clear mechanism for publishing the need, sharing a desire to help satisfy it, and then finding a way to coordinate all interested parties.
<Jan_eissfeldt> sure and i arranged informal ways around the formal stuff for the three german chapters anyway but the one in spain ( ) will be more difficult, because the chapter system is simply not capable to deal with it and there will be more cases next term. i just drafted a transdisziplinary & international cooperation model for un
<aude> sorry, i am in multiple meetings now

  • aude sees enough overlap between WMF doing stuff (e.g. education) and the DC chapter
  • aude thinks we need to think carefully about expanding organizations while coordinating better and minimizing overlap

<Jan_eissfeldt> we can sort ths out next month in sf, aude. if you are kind enough to attend ;)
<aude> yet give people who don't fit into chapters, a way to fit and be supported

  • aude will probably be in berlin ;)

<anirudh> I think the "first refusal" and "second refusal" idea is very reasonable.
<Jan_eissfeldt> we are all in berlin, aude, but i would like to have you around for the steering committee reform as well. this stuff affects your chapter first hand

  • abartov_ thinks *explicitly* inviting people to refuse may be undesirable.

<_sj_> abartov: there are better ways to frame that. aude: expanding recognition is not expanding organizations, though your point is well taken.
<_sj_> we currently have many overlap issues among groups that get no recognition; if anything, the possibility of recognition and better support for groups that conform to a well-defined process for coordination, may improve matters.
<_sj_> (enjoy glamcamp DC btw! wish I could be there :)
<brassratgirl> ditto, to glamcamp!
<brassratgirl> so I have only been lurking but I would question this notion that overlap is always bad
<brassratgirl> overlap is mainly bad from a roles & responsibilities perspective: who signs the letter, who tracks the funds -- because it generally adds to administrative confusion
<brassratgirl> but it's not bad from an idea-generating or even implementation perspective
<aude> brassratgirl: roles & responsibilities is important and we need to be careful
<anirudh> I think our volunteers are motivated by attribution and recognition within the community, and hence overlaps are bad because they increase the chances of conflicts and stalemate.
<aude> to make sure things stay coordinated and people are not arguing over turf

  • Jan_eissfeldt can envision aude tarred and feathered by the berlin stammtisch next month

<brassratgirl> yeah, this notion of turf is funny. If I want to organize a hackathon and you want to organize a content-writing workshop in the same geographical location, is that really the same turf? Only geographically; otherwise it's two different interest groups, working in two different spheres of wikimedia, possibly with different funding sources.
<brassratgirl> anyway, not to rehash everything for the nth time
<brassratgirl> sorry :)
<brassratgirl> alternatively... if I was in charge of the "libraries interest group" (ha!) and some excited editor across the country starts a project with a famous library without talking to me first, should I really get upset about it? Probably not, all in all. But it's the same "turf", in at least a few important ways.
<Jan_eissfeldt> aude: y run into trouble, if you try to force wikiped/mians to just go to one entity "in charge" (exclusively)- at least true for germans. if they don't like it/the folks running it/whatever reason and your entity runs into regular civil unrest over time es well (like WMDE: three big entity meetings with knife edge votes in 2011 alone to vote up or down their board, etc.). it puts pressure on project - entity relations and even
<Jan_eissfeldt> (granted that germans are by habit far more like the house of commons than every other tribe of wikimedians i have visited thus far ;) )

<-- end discussion -->