Official position history

See Official position

Explanation for this proposalEdit

This proposal by User:Anthere followed an email on foundation-l.

This is a thought based on feedback from two personal experiences, as well as Mav's and Erik's experiences.

I have contacted external people or organisations several times, either for press releases, or for some other PR activity, or for trying to negotiate content release.
Usually, I used my real name (though not always). At least twice, I think no consideration was given to my proposition, because I was just a community member and had no official position. I suppose other editors trying to reach the outside have met a similar situation.

When one contacts an important media group or charitable organisation to ask for donations, or a legal entity, one is expected to show some credentials. (in particular, as soon as money is involved :-)

I think this type of activity, with external contact, will become more frequent and required. And though this will often be the work of the Foundation itself, I somehow doubt that 3 members can manage it alone.
Some regular participants will necessarily become more and more invested in Foundation activities, without being Board members.

I would be happy for us to start thinking about how we could give "official titles" to participants, so that they can better help according to their abilities and wilingness.

Definition of "official titles"Edit

What about setting up a list of "official titles", with an associated description of what this encompasses. some examples, please comment or add others

We should all create this list together. There is already some stuff written about this on meta, but it was more planned for a board¿lists of potential board positions, for instance. Since the board will be very small, we should expand this old idea to other wikimedia or foundation participants.

The list of titles could be approved by the Board. Possible titles,

  • Chief Financial Officer - Lead person to keep track of donations or other funding, and of how money is spent (coordinated with the treasurer, a trustee that is responsible for the big picture and for financial policy, not the details)
  • Public Relations Representative or Wikimedia representative - organizing press releases, gives interviews, etc. May try to find funding, but this should be done in relation with Fundraising co-ordinators. We need many of these representatives; ideally at least one per language. They might want to name a coordinator among them. The board could name a coordinator if necessary.
  • Legal Counsel Representative - dealing with legal issues and helps draft policy; an actual lawyer would be ideal, or at least someone to work with a Foundation lawyer
  • Content Partnership Coordinator - helping attract content partners
  • Fundraising Co-ordinator - helping coordinate and advertise fundraising efforts
  • Print Version Co-ordinator - helping publish and distribute print versions of WM content
  • Sales Co-ordinator - helping sell print versions, apparel, posters, &c.
  • Developer Coordinator - helping manage the Wikimedia developer community, and attracting new developers to fill gaps in expertise (might be delegated financial authority for tech purchases)

I would like to add

  • User Ombudsman A trusted individual (would s/he have to be voted in?) overseeing all actions and activities of the Board of Trustees, particularly all financial transactions, to ensure that they comply with the rules and regulation of the Wikimedia Foundation and that the Board of Trustees and its representatives are accountable to the Users. Danny 11:33, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Multilingual Technical Ombudsman "I wish there were some guaranteed way to attract the developers' attention!"
A developer (or someone in the #mw loop) available for feedback regarding technical issues, particularly for smaller languages -- updates to langXX.php files, the schedule for the next such update, to help individual languages pace their efforts (see A-giâu's comment on Talk:Language files to be updated), &c. A source of info on char-set updates, interface tweaks for right-to-left langs, "non-developer tasks for developers" (affecting all projects), and more. +sj+ 17:49, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Giving official titles to participantsEdit

Several if necessary

I think EVERY ONE of the above titles should be given to several wikimedians, if to any. Giving a single title in any role creates the illusion of formal chain of command, without the detailed infrastructure and contingency planning that implies -- and encourages others, regardless of their energy, to wait rather than step on someone else's toes. +sj+
I tend to agree on this Sj. The only official position I will support right now is one related to financial issues, because I really think there is a need for central management of this. Obviously, taking care of bank statement is not gonna be done by 3 different people but by one only, who will be accountable. In most, if not all other cases, we should thrive to avoid centralizing things in one person hands (negative : feeling of a formal chain of command, loss of good will from others, and bottle neck). Anthere 07:19, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

We obviously need only one financial officer for now; But definitely several public relation officials. Given Wikipedia concept, I don't think we need a head for PR, the community is the head, but we definitely do need at least a dozen people as PR officials.

I view this as fairly loose. People interested list themselves there. The community then approve or does not approve to give this "official" title. Finally, the board may veto.

Lastly, on Wikimedia Foundation website, we could maintain a list of these official representatives. Something very official looking, so that an "official representative" can point a potential partner to this page to "prove" one is trusted by one's peers for negotiation.

An alternative approach has been moved to Talk:Official position history. A discussion of business cards has been moved to Business cards.

some historical positionsEdit

See alsoEdit