Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2013/Questions/3
The quality requirements are different in the various wikis. Some have very few requirements at the time, some others - e.g. de:WP - whose criterias (relevance) have already been set so high that it is often not possible for newcomers to partizipate. Almost every day, we lose more actual authors that we win new ones. You can not operate a constantly growing project with the same number of volunteers, if you expect article work in addition to administrative work. While the administrative burden is steadily increasing.
We have already today - and certainly much more in the future - due to an almost monopolistic position, a much greater social responsibility, which probably goes well beyond the current service character as an encyclopedia. Even there, were it seems to work very well we must find new ways.
Can you imagine that the Wikimedia Foundation also supports regionally operating wikis to foster a substantive as well as not yet locked personnel potential? And promoting such projects financially and through technical assistance and perhaps even integrated as part of the official Wikimedia system?
We would like to emphasize that we do not understand such a project as a competitor to Wikipedia, but as a supplement, the basics of Wikipedia and free knowledge must always be respected! --Hubertl (talk) 19:54, 27 May 2013 (UTC) --additional Karl Gruber (talk) 19:58, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Do you believe that the creation of Wikimedia LGBT as a thematic organisation would be a good demonstration of Wikimedia's diversity, and do you think it is a positive demonstration of the Foundation's commitment to diversity for members of the Board of Trustees to publicly identify themselves as LGBT, or their interests in LGBT culture? Fæ (talk) 14:31, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Use of off-wiki sites which harm the Foundation and individual WikimediansEdit
Some of the current candidates for election have written for websites publicly critical of the Wikimedia Foundation, an activity they have not declared in their statements. At least two of the candidates have supported Wikipediocracy in the past by writing there, a website known for harming the reputation of the Wikimedia Foundation, outing and making personal attacks against Wikimedians, and is a source of damaging inflammatory allegations that have been repeated by journalists in national newspapers. Do you think it proper that the candidates should declare their use of these critical websites as part of their candidacy for the Board of Trustees, and do you think members of the Board of Trustees should publish past pseudonyms so they are accountable for what they have written about the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia projects? Fæ (talk) 14:57, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
About the approval of new ChaptersEdit
Pryvit! what would be your personal opinion or position regarding the approval of new Chapters like say Wikimedia Kossovo, Wikimedia Catalonia or Wikimedia Scotland if these two last entities were to become independent in 2014? Dyakuyu! posted on behalf of my cholovik, Claudi Balaguer/CapsotInnaBalaguer (talk) 18:50, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Executive director selection and oversightEdit
It's commonly said that the most important thing a board does is hire, evaluate, and fire its top manager (CEO, executive director, etc). On May 21 the job posting for the new ED was announced. How do you approach your supervisory role? First off, what qualities do you think are most important, e.g. experience, vision, technical aptitude, community involvement? Second, how should you direct, supervise, and evaluate; for example, to what extent should Wikimedia be setting measurable expectations for the ED? Do you believe in a 360-degree evaluation? Also, how demanding of a supervisor are you, and is performance which strikes you as "OK" or "not bad" adequate for retention purposes or do you think a position such as this requires outstanding performance? ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 21:06, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
About overspending and/or misspendingEdit
Bonjorn/bon dia/hello/dobry den'! When reading the details of some projects approved not that long ago and seeing that there is still no report, I am a bit worried about misspending and overspending in the Wikimedia world. To be more precise, I have noticed way too expensive flights (€ 500) to cover distances such as Madrid-Santiago de Compostela (about 600 km, 1.200 in round trip) while I think you could pay at least 5 times less and you could even use the train (I checked Renfe's site, the highest fare is about €140) instead of a plane, not to mention other expenses which also seem very high and other grants that seem to be field trips for the grantees instead of real benefits for Wikimedia... Thus, do you plan to enforce stricter supervision or control over these potential financial issues/problems that could affect the credibility of the whole movement? Mercés/gràcies/thanks/dyakuyu (again) for your answers. On behalf of my cholovik/husband once more Claudi Balaguer/Capsot InnaBalaguer (talk) 09:18, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Narrowing focus and funding allocationsEdit
As you are likely aware, Sue Gardner's narrowing focus essay from October 2012, which was approved in Oct 2012 resolution by the board, proposes to scale back the activities Wikimedia is involved in and focus on core engineering and grantmaking. Apparently related to this is the birth of the FDC, which was created through a 30 March 2012 board resolution; the initial outline also calls for the FDC to allocate money available to the Grant Advisory Committee (GAC). As a result of this, the 2012-3 budget in the annual report (see page 56, also the next few pages are very interesting as well) allocates 25% of funding to the FDC and GAC (e.g., $10m on a $40m budget). The Board then has final say over funding allocations (perhaps less so with the GAC). Few questions about this:
1. Under Sue's plan, feature development is a 'core' activity. In a comment responding to Sue's essay, User:Pine commented that feature development did not seem core. Is it core? Clearly the WMF should be involved in feature development and has some major features under development, but how exclusive should it be over that area?
2. Under the FDC as it is currently operating, it is presented with several organizations, often somewhat large, bureaucratic, and decently opaque, and permitted to recommend 0-x% of what the organization is asking for, with the remainder placed into reserves. Is this really an effective way to involve the 'community' in funding allocation? Do you think the FDC should be encouraged to take a holistic or proactive view in funding, by sua sponte responding to various requests from community members in general or noted gaps in important areas with a recommendation that funds be spent in addressing the problem? Feature ideas are an obvious example, but another example could be the WebCite proposal, which garned 174 support comments on meta.
3. Only 'movement' entities are eligible for money through the FDC. Could you explain how you interpret this and whether you believe that this restriction is reasonable? When donors contribute to Wikimedia, they do it expecting that the money is spent on improving the services they're using. I don't believe they expect that it might go to less competent entities just because such entities have special connections within the Wikimedia community. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 05:53, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Investment policy and philosophyEdit
According to the note (1)(h) of the latest 2011-2 financial statement, the foundation has an extremely conservative investment policy (essentially certificates of deposit and U.S. Treasury Bills) and apparently has no policy for long-term investments. Considering that recent narrowing focus has identified the 'core' budget is a fraction of recent reserves, which are around $40m, do you think this is the right decision? Are you at all familiar with how nonprofits typically handle their reserves, or the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (see Florida version)? If you believe that there is a place for long-term investments, what is your perspective on what the policy and diversification should look like? Do you lean towards passive or active investment strategies? Do you have any experience (including in your own personal capacity, such as retirements) or expertise in evaluating investments? If not, do you believe you are the type of person who can teach yourself to follow along and understand investments? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 8:10, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
WMF effectiveness and board self-evaluationEdit
Generally, how effective has the Wikimedia Foundation been in the past few years? I recognize that fundraising, pageviews, etc have been up but do you think that's because of, in spite of, or regardless of the Wikimedia Foundation? Do you place more praise (or blame) on staff or the board? As a related point, board-self evaluation is a tricky area (60% of nonprofits reportedly conducted them as of 2010). The board's governance committee alludes to board self-evaluations. How would you approach board self-evaluations? Have any self-evaluations been made public? If not, should they be? Was input formally solicited from the community? If not, should it be? ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 19:03, 8 June 2013 (UTC)