Anyone [not only Trustees] can address this is a saying for the countless times that someone asks of the Board of Trustees what should be asked of the community. There are many types of issues that the community should directly address; among them

  • cross-project issues for a network of communities across the projects to consider
  • issues of prioritization, outreach, and tool development for a particular project
  • issues of style, taste, fair use, and content for a particular project

Each of these should be addressed by the community; the first may demand a group of committed community representatives from various projects who have the time and energy to work towards cross-project consensus. Some such efforts have developed on meta-l, foundation-l, and this meta-wiki. Others may need more encouragement before they can take shape.

None should be addressed by our WMF Trustees -- who would be best served by actively saying Template:Sofixit rather than offering casual advice about how to address these issues.

Elections 2008 edit

The format of this year's elections to the Board of Trustees served as a reminder that all community members should be ansewring such questions. Most of the questions asked of candidates to the Board were ones that should not be influenced by the personal opinions of Board members.

Moreover, with its active discouragement of coherent, well-organized essays and platforms, this year's election did not even produce a useful set of essays for future discussion and development of community consensus.

Trustees can effectively limit themselves, in most circumstances, to

  • reminding wikimedians they can fix problems themselves
  • reminding wikimedians that they are stewards not only for their own favorite works, but for the combined works of the projects and their long-term viability
  • encouraging wikimedians to attend to long-term planning and prioritization
  • helping amplify the voices of new and small projects, and other contributors or ideas that might otherwise get lost in the noise
  • helping maintain balance and neutral perspective on policy when reviewing ideas that touch on many different projects and many different time-scales
  • following up on any high-priority projects or tasks that have not been accomplished