Wikimedia Newsletter/Administration

See Ant's current version


Answers to a few questions about the Board:

Is the Board made up of 3 or of 5 people?Edit

5. Definitely 5 people.
Michaël Davis was appointed our treasurer and is working with Daniel Mayer (Mav) to put our finances in order. You can find a rundown of their work in this newsletter.
Tim Shell participates actively in the English Wikipedi, and is often found on the #wikimedia IRC channel.

How does the Board communicate among its members?Edit

A good question. Essentially via email (thanks to gmail for its generosity, which has constrained the generosity of Yahoo in providing extra space in its mailboxes). 4 of the 5 Board members are quite regularly on IRC, where they can react to certain events quickly. While 3 Board members are frequently present on IRC at the same time (the quorum required in the Foundation's bylaws for a proper Board meeting), these are not perforce meetings of any official nature.

And the official meetings?Edit

Up to now, there has been only a single meeting between Jimbo, Angela and Anthère, at the Wikipedian meeting in Paris, on July 4, 2004. You can find the complete summary here: http://wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/4_July_2004.

Since then, we have tried to find significant blocks of time for another meeting, but our respective agendas have not yet allowed it.

The manipulators

Where can I find information about the Foundation?Edit

What are the official positions and committees?Edit

Daniel Mayer (Maveric149) is responsible for finances, with the oversight of Michaël Davis, our treasurer. He is, in particular, in in charge of establishing our budget ([1]), and of balancing out books ([2]).

Tim Starling is the liaison between the Board and our group of developers. Il faut rappeler que l'activité des développeurs est de deux types :

  • server maintenance, and
  • development of the MediaWiki software (also used for many non-Wikimedia applications).

Tim Starling is setting up a Developer Committee [3]). This committee-to-be will be made up of the most active developers and, among other things, will help formalise a method for reaching development decisions (the direction of future development, definition of necessary purchases, procesing of certain requests, &c).

There are no other official committees, but there are important groups like committees which form naturally, particularly in regards to public relations and grant coordination. For other suggested committees, see [4].

Becoming a member of the FoundationEdit

See [5]. Startig in July, Anthere began a discussion of how to set up a dues system. This discussion produced a proposal accepted by the Board. This proposal may be found on Meta at [6].

Becoming a Foundation member would cost 60 USD (or an equivalent in other currencies), and would not require being a contributor to a Wikimedia project. The membership fee for a project contributor would be 6 USD. Members can choose how they wish a portion of their fee to be used (for isntance, '30 dollars should be used only for hardware purchases').

This dues system will be set in place during the fourth quarter of 2004. There will be no obligation to pay dues: contributing to (and benefiting from) projects is and will forever be free. Moreover, becoming a dues-paying member will have NO effect on the editing rights of contributors. Contributing money is nothing more than an additional way of helping the project.

The details of financial relations with the german Verein and its dues system (for instance, finding a way to allow members to pay dues only once) are not yet finalized.

Is it true that the developers are paid?Edit

In July 2004, Anthere sent a poll to all of the Wikimedia developers, to determine the feasibility of setting up a bounty system for development tasks. The principal objective of the board is to allow development to be guided in certain directions (for instance, by offering payment for developing certain software features). The results of the poll: [7].

After the poll, the Board decided to proceed with a bounty system for a period of 4 months, subject to certain restrictions. The current proposal can be found on Meta: [8].

The proposal includes the following:

  • All users and the Board are free to request new functionality
  • Developers can propose to work on certain items for a specified amount
  • The opinion of the developer committee is requested to guarante community interest and the feasibility of the proposed task, moderated by the general direction of the development plan
  • The Board will make the final decisions to accept or refuse an offer for a certain task. Accepted offers will redult in a contract between the Foundation and the interested (group of ) developer(s).

After the trial period, all Wikimedia contributors will again be encouraged to give their opinion on this subject.

Multiple publications effortsEdit

Efforts to publish and distribute portions of Wikipedia are underway. Angela Beesley and Yann Forget are currently working actively to produce a bilingual french/english DVD of the encyclopedia, for publication and distribution with Mandrake (distributor of their own flavor of Linux).

At the same time, the german Wikipedia is working to produce a CD. The intensive work to tag images and lists, in preparation for these projects, has provided a good deal of quality improvement. You can help this process on the english Wikipedia by working on the image-tagging drive there: [9]

More about these efforts can be found under 'Collaboration' elswhere on this page.


Still missingEdit

Ongoing administrative discussions? memos from the Board's todo list?)

Policies: New language-specific domains for all wiktionaries, wikibooks, and wikiquote. (any other changes in policy? official decisions?)

  1. Events_:_Webby_for_Community.2C_Prix_Ars_Electronica_award_for_Digital_CommunitiesSeparate
  1. . Brief summary of any official decisions or changes in policy, or links to appropriate overview pages.
  1. . Summary of ongoing administrative discussions