Task force/Advocacy Agenda/Weekly Report 02

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Task Force Weekly Report: week of 2009-<date>




Task Force Name:

Report of Activities

Notes summary from our 12/28 call:

WMF ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES

Historically, the organization has been reactive not proactive with regards to advocacy. Going forward, we can influence policy and opinion:

    1. Directly
    2. Through strategic partners
    3. Through Jimmy
    4. With/through chapters
    5. With/through editors
    6. With/through new groups that we create (e.g., geographic coalitions, beyond current chapters; tribes organized around specific themes; Esther has recommended setting up a European chapter)
    7. Through the platform (one of the top media sites in the world, high-profile, highly accessed; how to leverage?)
    8. Off-platform (e.g., barn-raising around issues that aren’t necessarily chapter-focused)


SOME HISTORY (from Jimmy overview)

  • Originally there was no way for Wikipedia to do PR or person-to-person advocacy
  • Universities and businesses became important audiences and partners; chapters arose in part to address that fact
  • Germany was the first chapter, and still by far the largest; they have taken on an advocacy role within the German-speaking world
  • They appear to have been very successful—sense that academia is aware of and has a positive view of Wikipedia, more so than in the English-speaking world
  • Chapters can do a lot with advocacy and outreach: press, academia, user-to-user support; chapters much better than Wikipedia HQ at issues like vandalism of a biography (say, in Romania); could also convince active editors to play a role here
  • Some chapters are quite small (e.g., 2 people in small countries); some like Germany are large - Germany has a board of approx ten, a group of maybe 20 (check) who are active
  • Some historical strife at times between chapters and editors. Historically chapter members tend to be editors, but once chapters get large, it becomes a full time job and they cease to edit.
  • Chapters and WMF: yearly meetings, very constructive; historically there didn't used to be a Foundation so no way to handle the needs of chapters. Chapters in the past have nominated board of directors to the Foundation; the method still being sorted out, an open "constitutional question"
  • Jimmy’s perspectives may not be representative, worth double-checking with others.
  • Jimmy has been used historically by chapters to shine a light on certain issues. He views his role going forward as focusing on the core values, long-term goals, mutual respect in the community


NEXT STEPS / OPEN QUESTIONS

  • (Germany) Would love to know from the Germany chapter how and why they’ve been successful. How big are they currently? What tension points have there been historically between chapters and editors?
  • (Eugene) Would love to understand better the Communications committee and mailing list. A group of press contacts in different parts of the world? Also, a clarification: what work is Frank doing around wiki-pods?
  • (Sue) Learn more about the Chapter Coordinator position; thoughts on reviving it. Currently no single point of contact at WMF for chapter needs (press, biz partnerships, academy issues all go to different people)
  • (Mark) Link to the Movement Roles and Alliance Partnerships discussion pages; to see what they’re sharing and vice versa
  • (Jimmy) What organizations does he see as being most closely aligned with our mission? Top non-profits who would make that list?


    Planned activities for next week

    Please be specific and aggressive. It is okay to roll activities from week to week if necessary.

    • There has been talk of adding members to this group. Any announcements this week?
    • Any upcoming deadlines we should be aware of?
    • To discuss as a group-- to make good progress, should we assign specific mandate questions or strategic themes -- e.g., environmentalism, working with chapters -- to individual team members?


    Resources needed

    To complete our work, this task force needs the following resources or assistance:


    Appreciation

    This week, this task force wishes to recognize for their assistance the following users:


    Other comments

    References

    Our notes or documentation can be found at:



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