Notes from the discussion at Chapters Conference

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Notes from the discussion at Chapters Conference

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  • Wikimedia Foundation
  • Wikimedia chapters
  • Chap comm
  • Unaffiliated volunteers/informal groups
  • Readers? - They may not want to be a part of the organization, they just want to read.

What about active editors? Do they care about the mission? Do they want to be part of the organization?

Maybe the key distinction is: People who want to organize to do something for the movement?

Would it be more prudent to involve everyone? There are rights/responsibilities to being an editor, for instance.

If you start with the strategy discussion, it's important that we work on things that are attainable.

One definition is to try to define roles for only people who make a decision to be part of the organization.

If someone says "I want to do something" - for instance a GLAM - who is the force that organizes that action? That's the nebulous part of the organization today.

Would having a workflow/table of responsibilities/case studies online be helpful? It might live on meta and be linked from the various projects.

Is thinking about this organizational stuff a good idea at all? It seems clear that it is.

A lot of the development of work around Movement roles has been board driven, how do we engage other people?

Some people don't know who to contact on issues and so they get frustrated and leave. If we get this done it may also help with conflicts within the community.

It also needs to be clear what "hat" someone is wearing when they do things. We have tasks and roles, and sometimes the two don't line up precisely.

Would it make sense to work backwards? Look at what works or what doesn't and work backwards? The list from Sue of what chapters do well is an example of that, and gap analysis around it. Would those help us form stakeholder lists and case studies?

There's a need for people to own this process, and run it.

We need a shared understanding from existing entities about their roles and responsibilities, but it's suggested that it might be easier to focus on having a charter that represents chapters and foundation may be the first step toward it? Although unaffiliated volunteers could not sign it, they could, in effect, "vote with their feet" and walk away if they disagree.

~Philippe (WMF)13:15, 16 April 2010

It seems to me like there are some idea about chapters as a national lobbyist group, sometimes able to create local interest and sometimes not, and a more global view of the Foundation projects. Projects are global, chapters are local, and Foundation is something so distant people can't really grasp it. Then there are volunteers not affiliated with any of them, they just work on Wikipedia which magically emerges on their computer from nowhere.

The unaffiliated volunteer group is for all practical purposes the major bulk of the community body. Typically the number of such active users are 50 times higher than the number of chapter members during a 30 day period. More about this in Wikimedia chapters/Members of chapters vs unaffiliated volunteer contributors.

Somehow users should be able to get into more formal roles, or rather into roles that are better suited to be a step stone for those who want to get a more involved role. Especially the senior roles are interesting, not only for Foundation roles but also for chapter roles. Both groups can do head hunts for people among those in such senior roles.

Then there are roles that may relate both to Foundation, chapters and the community as such. An example is the press contact role where one press contact may answer questions in multiple roles. If the answer is different for each role it can very soon be a mixup in the newspapers, other roles may be even worse on possible conflicting roles.

Jeblad18:11, 27 April 2010