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The SignpostEdit

Dear Ben,

I've emailed you on a Signpost matter.

Kind regards, Tony (talk) 02:53, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Important announcement: Election delayed by one weekEdit

The Election Committee regrets to advise that it is necessary to delay the start of voting in the WMF Elections 2013 for one week. This delay is being implemented for three reasons:

  • We have been unable to verify that the list of eligible voters is complete and that all voters meet the published criteria
  • We have been unable to verify that the SecurePoll setups for the election are properly functioning
  • The voter interfaces have not been translated and are not currently available in any language other than English, thus disadvantaging Wikimedians who do not read English.

The following changes are now made to the Election timeline:

  • 8-22 June 2013: elections
  • 23-25 June 2013: vote-checking
  • 25-28 June: publication of results.

For the Election Committee, Risker (talk) 21:03, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Questions all year longEdit

Dear II,

Thanks for your tough questions to the Trustee candidates. I hope you continue to ask such questions in public fora throughout the year - they are reasonable issues for the meta-community, the Board, and the WMF to reflect on.

The period from November to March each year is a good time for this sort of reflection and planning - that's when the reports about the past year come in, we see how the year's fundraising has gone, people (at the WMF and in each chapter) prepare public updates for April's Wikimedia Conference, and many organizations update their annual plans.

Best, SJ talk  21:10, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the encouragement. I was a little worried I'd get complaints that I was asking too many questions inside my questions (I kept it to 3, per the rules) or that I was being mean. since the crowd around here is the opposite of critical. Rocking the boat isn't something that comes easily for me, and unfortunately it usually gets harder the more you get to know the people. It's probably apparent that I'm not highly impressed with how things are currently, but I appreciate your answers and I don't blame anyone in particular. It feels like things are finally just now ramping up on the development end and in some other ways. From my outsider's perspective, it seems like the Foundation follows the typical path of a bureaucratic organization: the board is quite passive and extremely risk-averse and it falls to the executive director to get things happening. It took a while but at least things are happening. I don't like at all how Sue has handled development priorities but I'll give her credit for a few important initiatives, such as moving to San Francisco and probably the FDC.
In terms what I'll continue to bring up, I will probably continue to bring up the investment policy - I know it gets yawns and misunderstanding but compound interest can either work for or against you, and there's no reason you can't build up a board-designated start for an endowment right now.
However, allowing more community input from the community on software development is a much more important priority. I keep very extensive notes (using nixnote which syncs with evernote) so I can quickly pull up an apt quote by Johnuniq from the comments of a 2012 Signpost Op-Ed expressing the frustration of most regular editors:

What is needed are things like a way to handle references in a straightforward manner; what we get are things like moodbars and article feedback (congratulations on finding a reasonable post there btw, albeit one that is unlikely to be acted on unless someone notices it from this discussion).

I would add several things to this list, such as a reasonably useful watchlist, automatically tagging edits with meta-data such as data on whether or how many times an edit has been viewed by regular editor (and not through some clunky pending changes system, although I could see meta-data on fact-checking), filterable article history, etc.
Ironically, it seems from the question about development that most of the candidates want to pass the buck more to "the community", even though that's the very clearly and forcefully the opposite of current practice. Sadly, even though the candidates are purportedly members of the community and might be expected to have an opinion on actual features, they (including yourself) completely shifted responsibility on what the feature development priorities should be even though that was an explicit part of the question. Kat and John Vandenberg were the exceptions, and surprisingly they were silent on community-driven development, although it's likely reading too much into it to say they more community say. Board members of a technological organization need to make their thoughts on technology clear, and should ideally be should be thought leaders on the subject. Having an opinion does not mean micromanagement. By the way, through reviewing your contributions I found Watchlist_wishlist, thanks!
As I conclude this rant, I hope you don't take it personally. :) I was impressed by your answers and you are near the top of my list. I'll be hoping for some follow-through (more than the follow-through that Ting gave when I bugged him shortly after his win in 2008, and he told me to code my ideas myself!), but as someone who has spent some time in the minority faction on boards, I understand how they work and I'll be hopefully getting my act together to provide external pressure. Incidentally, I saw you mention that you sometimes dissent on board votes, but I couldn't find evidence of that. Although it's been a while since I skimmed the board minutes, it appears that the board votes on record were unanimous, with typically little to no mention of motions.
On a related but somewhat different topic, I also saw the records on a corporate governance law seminar which appeared to at least perhaps emphasize that the duty of confidentiality was a part of the duty of loyalty. As someone who's spent some time studying this stuff, I'd ask that anyone who says that provide a statute or case law. Certainly, boards of publicly-traded companies have a duty of confidentiality, but nonprofits don't have the same potential for profit, which is the general basis of the law. The consultants' statement appears to conflate the two circumstances. I doubt there's a law supporting a duty of confidentiality by nonprofit boards, although it is certainly a common policy, regardless of public policy or legal reasons for or against. My opinion is that boards, especially a board like this, need to be open. I'm not saying that we necessarily need to see more detailed records on board meetings, but the reason for less documentation shouldn't be some hand-waving at confidentiality for its own sake. Resist consultants and other board members telling you the board speaks with one voice and that everything that happens in a board room stays in the board room. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 07:47, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Board electionEdit

Maybe we can look forward to seeing you as a board candidate this year, eh? I'm ineligible to run, but can still vote. It does seem like we need someone to shake things up a bit. Leucosticte (talk) 01:57, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, that's a nice thought! You notice I ran for the FDC last year with abysmal results? I likely will run for the board at some point in my life, but at 27 right now it's not the top priority. Given my current job working in government in a regulatory position, I'm not super comfortable giving up my anonymity. While I'm not really a public figure, I like editing finance and legal articles and it could be slightly awkward if my identity were revealed. Plus I've been remiss in editing articles lately and I'd hate to be a board member who doesn't really edit. I've also kinda got a few other things in the fire at the moment with volunteering. I would like to do more agitating, though, particularly on the development side (and a bit on the investing side too, as you noticed). I visited WMF last summer and had a good discussion with Brandon Harris and one of his colleagues about the development issues.
I also noticed that the board has been making efforts to improve their communication this year, but it doesn't seem like it's attracted that much attention. So I probably should pursue that avenue a little bit more first. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 02:29, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Project Medicine Foundation MembershipEdit

 
Membership renewal

Dear Wiki Project Med Supporter, you are receiving this message as you have shown interest in supporting Wiki Project Med in the past. As our organization grows and evolves, we want to be able to verify peoples ongoing interest in being involved. To that end, the board has decided to require renew of membership every two years. So -- whether you are a current member or not, please fill out our updated membership form, to ensure your membership till the end of 2020. Please note -- We ask that you fill out the form by Feb 3rd, as we are close to elections and only members can nominate themselves for the board and vote!

Best, Shani & Doc James. 01:57, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

Elections for 5 seats on the board of WPMEDF & Annual MeetingEdit

Dear WikiProject Medicine member, the election for 5 seats on the board is underway and voting is now open till March 24th. We encourage you to use your right to vote by supporting the candidates you prefer HERE. Please also note that on Monday, March 25, between 1900-2000 UTC we will be holding our open annual meeting online. A link will be sent via the mailing list / Facebook group so stay tuned. We hope you can join us! Best, James & Shani. 14:17, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

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