Mailing List Archive

Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 1:02 PM, Florence Devouard <Anthere9@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I really fail to see how being an advisory board member could in any
> sense create a conflict of interest. As the term very well describes it,
> advisory board members are merely advisors.... not decision makers.
> Just as *any* community member is also an advisor to the Wikimedia
> Foundation staff.

Thank you, Florence. Other people did have the same question:
<http://blog.wikimedia.org/blog/2011/01/12/new-wikimedia-fellow/#comment-6230>,
so it's definitely a valid question and I'm glad we got that
clarified.

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
Birgitte SB wrote:
> This isn't the first time someone who perceived your tone negatively has
> written about it seeking a remedy. Perhaps the fault is not with David's nor
> Nathan's perception skills.
>
> Perhaps you might find more success if you change your approach in the
> following ways.
>
> 1) Don't ask questions you already know the answer to. It seems as if you
> expect people to lie and is perceived as both insulting and insincere.

There's a difference between knowing the answer and thinking I know the
answer. It's generally better not to assume and to instead ask questions, in
my opinion. I could've easily formed an opinion about Achal's
Wikimedia-related work in India without ever having posted to this list (or
spoken to him), but I don't think that'd be a fair (or necessarily accurate)
assessment. Asking questions allows me to gain information and insight (in
theory, anyway).

> 2) Do state what your concerns are point-blank. Are you concerned WMF
> fellowships are too numerous or too generous? Are you concerned that Foo who
> is better qualified was not given the fellowship instead? Do you have a
> grievance with this particular fellow or some work he has done in the past?
> Are you concerned that the work being done as part of the fellowship is not
> useful? Or do do you think the fellowship itself turned out decently, but are
> concerned that your input was not solicited when it was in the proposal stage?
> After reading all your questions which seem to assume some general knowledge
> that I don't have (i.e. what "people" have been saying), I haven't a clue what
> your concern actually is.

I've tried both approaches. Being direct generally comes across as rude.
Being leading or making casual suggestions generally comes across as ...
indirect and rude. It seems like a no-win situation from where I'm sitting.
I'm asking questions about people's motives and actions; people generally
don't like that, even ones who say they like openness and transparency. As
Nathan and others have said, nobody is obligated to answer my questions (or
even read my posts). But when there are questions that I think need to be
raised that aren't being raised, I'll take the time to write something
coherent.

With all due respect, you not understanding the questions I'm asking doesn't
particularly concern me. The questions weren't directed toward you and I
wasn't seeking your input, so it's natural for you not to really know what
I'm talking about or understand my concerns. I don't mean that in any rude
way, I really don't.

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it.

MZMcBride



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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 21 January 2011 21:11, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:


To try to answer your concern, somewhat, as I understand it, rather
than just tut at your tone (which is of course an annoying thing to
do):

The Advisory Board is basically specialist volunteers who’ve signed up
to be bothered about stuff if the board wants help with something.
It’s not a “board” with actual power, like the Board of Trustees.

So as a staff member, it’s now his job to be bothered about stuff
instead of volunteering to be bothered about stuff, so his staff
duties are pretty much a superset of his volunteer ones :-)

As such, it's not something I can see a conflict of interest in -
there's no power being exercised in the Advisory Board role to
corrupt; no streams to cross.

I speak only as a long-term en:wp, WMF and WMUK volunteer, not
authoritatively as staff of anyone in any way. Others could probably
clarify.

Speaking as an en:wp volunteer: if he can make a start on cracking the
horrible problem of what to do with important oral knowledge in
written encyclopedias, I think that could be one of the hugest
innovations yet seen in the quest to sum human knowledge. This is
REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF, and IMO an excellent and on-mission thing for
WMF to spend money on. Whether he's the ideal person for the job is a
matter for WMF, and although WMF's hiring has not necessarily been
perfect in the past I think it's generally worked out pretty well. We
have a lot of WMF employees who are former volunteers in one capacity
or another, and who got recruited to staff by becoming known for their
volunteer work. The Fellows are pretty much volunteers who are now
being paid to do whatever valuable thing they were doing as
volunteers.

As I said, if my understanding is amiss, I'm sure others will clarify.


- d.

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> 2011/1/20 whothis <whothith@gmail.com>:
> > I hope others reading this realize the implication of your appointment. I
> > had no idea who you were before this, and still don't
>
> I had no idea who you were before this. Then I checked my mail
> archives and saw that the only other thread you've been engaged in was
> a different set of accusations about the existence of a cabal and the
> impropriety thereof.
>

Thats a fair assessment, let me first say that I respect your opinion to a
certain degree Erik. But as an unknown poster on this list, I have the exact
same qualification as Mr. Prabhala does, perhaps even more, the only
difference is I am not on the Advisory Board. Second, Let me refresh your
memory I posted on a thread a while ago, complaining about the Movement
roles "steering committee", composed of 5 people from the chapter committee,
a board member and an employee. I made a comment in passing that add Achal
or Florence to the mix and you have the Advisory Board Cabal. Maybe I was
the only one who saw a pattern.


>
> This is not a constructive conversation, because it confuses and
> conflates a bunch of very complex issues (questions of NPO governance
> and ethics, which you clearly have a very limited understanding of,
> vs. questions of effective and transparent operations, vs. community
> participation, etc.), and has from the beginning taken the tone of
> prosecutorial questioning. If you're interested in having a
> constructive conversation e.g. about the grants process and the
> fellowships program without attacking individuals, I'll be happy to
> join it, here or on Meta.
>

Clearly, without even knowing who I am, you can easily write me off as
someone with a very limited understanding of NPO governance and ethics. That
is one thing you are apparently sure about in all of this, I would say
something about your own Hubris but I think that's just the way it is.
Anyway, I didn't raise the questions, the other person did, I made the point
about a possible appearance of impropriety and was planning on fading away
until the jibe about "Pranayama" and the patronizing tone. I don't care for
his grant or "fellowship", he might as well be researching farts for all I
care, researchers and consultants come and go, but Advisory Board members
they are forever.

I unfortunately, have a life to live and bills to pay instead of engaging in
a "constructive" and drawn-out conversation, we can't all be lifetime
appointed Advisory Board members. Apologies if it got too personal, I took
offense to one of the statements earlier and had to resort to polemics.


Kind Regards


Elizabeth
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
A few things to add to this thread:

1. Achal has been a very helpful advisor (among several) to me as I've
launched WMF's work in India. In addition, he has been helpful in the
formation of the chapter in India, the chapter formation process in South
Africa and has shared some perspectives with ChapCom, where he was invited
to advise them by the committee. He has done so as a volunteer who has
dedicated valuable time (like all contributors to the movement) to support
our collective goals in India and around the world. He has not received nor
expected any special power or remuneration for this help. I, personally,
have found him to be an excellent advisor and not someone who expects
anything in return. As it relates to hiring in India, I invited him to
advise me (along with Bishakha) because I have come to value his
perspectives on the merits. We were clear that the role was advisory and
while I took some of his advice, we differed on some questions. Note: WMF
staff other than myself also interview candidates and ultimately the
decision is made based on the recommendation of the hiring manager with
Sue's approval (she meets all candidates).

2. I would not characterize the Fellowship as a staff position. Achal
proposed a very specific project for which he was provided a grant. He is
responsible for the successful completion of the task and will not have
other responsibilities or privileges associated with employment. This is
why it was handled like a grant, as the same expectations for carrying out
the proposed activities rest on all grantees - whether an individual,
chapter or other group. We evaluated the grant based on the potential for
contribution to the movement.

3. There is room for improvement in our processes at WMF as Erik suggests
earlier. For one, we have used the title of Fellowship for different types
of activities e.g., hiring someone on a contract for general staff-like
purposes, providing a grant to someone for a specific activity. We should
figure out how to distinguish between these (and other roles) more clearly.
In addition, I am planning on introducing a community input mechanism into
the grant process for 2011/12. We have piloted grantmaking over the past
two years and I think it is a valuable tool for the community to secure
funding for work that requires money. It will be valuable to have input
from the community on grants before we make decisions on them. This will
improve the quality of grantmaking across the board - expect to hear more
about this in the coming weeks.

Thanks,
Barry
P.S. Sorry if I don't respond to follow up questions quickly, I'm actually
on vacation ;)

On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Birgitte SB wrote:
> > This isn't the first time someone who perceived your tone negatively has
> > written about it seeking a remedy. Perhaps the fault is not with David's
> nor
> > Nathan's perception skills.
> >
> > Perhaps you might find more success if you change your approach in the
> > following ways.
> >
> > 1) Don't ask questions you already know the answer to. It seems as if
> you
> > expect people to lie and is perceived as both insulting and insincere.
>
> There's a difference between knowing the answer and thinking I know the
> answer. It's generally better not to assume and to instead ask questions,
> in
> my opinion. I could've easily formed an opinion about Achal's
> Wikimedia-related work in India without ever having posted to this list (or
> spoken to him), but I don't think that'd be a fair (or necessarily
> accurate)
> assessment. Asking questions allows me to gain information and insight (in
> theory, anyway).
>
> > 2) Do state what your concerns are point-blank. Are you concerned WMF
> > fellowships are too numerous or too generous? Are you concerned that Foo
> who
> > is better qualified was not given the fellowship instead? Do you have a
> > grievance with this particular fellow or some work he has done in the
> past?
> > Are you concerned that the work being done as part of the fellowship is
> not
> > useful? Or do do you think the fellowship itself turned out decently, but
> are
> > concerned that your input was not solicited when it was in the proposal
> stage?
> > After reading all your questions which seem to assume some general
> knowledge
> > that I don't have (i.e. what "people" have been saying), I haven't a clue
> what
> > your concern actually is.
>
> I've tried both approaches. Being direct generally comes across as rude.
> Being leading or making casual suggestions generally comes across as ...
> indirect and rude. It seems like a no-win situation from where I'm sitting.
> I'm asking questions about people's motives and actions; people generally
> don't like that, even ones who say they like openness and transparency. As
> Nathan and others have said, nobody is obligated to answer my questions (or
> even read my posts). But when there are questions that I think need to be
> raised that aren't being raised, I'll take the time to write something
> coherent.
>
> With all due respect, you not understanding the questions I'm asking
> doesn't
> particularly concern me. The questions weren't directed toward you and I
> wasn't seeking your input, so it's natural for you not to really know what
> I'm talking about or understand my concerns. I don't mean that in any rude
> way, I really don't.
>
> Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Barry Newstead
Chief Global Development Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 21 January 2011 05:59, CherianTinu Abraham <tinucherian@gmail.com> wrote:
> Knowledge in olden times of India are transferred orally from Gurus (
> Teachers) to students/disciples . They are not necessarily recorded. We are
> talking about the ages even before manuscripts & paper are invented.


Paper has been around for 1800 years. The odds of orally transmitted
information remaining accurate over that kind of time period are
limited.

In any case the who Guru thing has taken a bit of a hammering lately
from the likes of Sanal Edamaruku and Basava Premanand.


--
geni

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
Come on friend, History of India and many other civilizations of world
started thousands of years even before that. As somebody already said
earlier, It is not something that everyone can easily comprehend..
Every knowledge is NOT on the internet and Google searchable :)

Sorry, No pun intended.

Regards
Tinu Cherian

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 6:59 AM, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 21 January 2011 05:59, CherianTinu Abraham <tinucherian@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Knowledge in olden times of India are transferred orally from Gurus (
> > Teachers) to students/disciples . They are not necessarily recorded. We
> are
> > talking about the ages even before manuscripts & paper are invented.
>
>
> Paper has been around for 1800 years. The odds of orally transmitted
> information remaining accurate over that kind of time period are
> limited.
>
> In any case the who Guru thing has taken a bit of a hammering lately
> from the likes of Sanal Edamaruku and Basava Premanand.
>
>
> --
> geni
>
> _______________________________________________
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> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
You are mistaking the problem.
It's not that a piece of knowledge is not googleable.
It's that a piece of knowledge is not published whatsoever.

Never published. Anywhere. At any time. Ever.
That's quite a different animal.









-----Original Message-----
From: CherianTinu Abraham <tinucherian@gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 8:17 pm
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Questions about new Fellow


Come on friend, History of India and many other civilizations of world

started thousands of years even before that. As somebody already said

earlier, It is not something that everyone can easily comprehend..

Every knowledge is NOT on the internet and Google searchable :)



Sorry, No pun intended.



Regards

Tinu Cherian



On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 6:59 AM, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:



> On 21 January 2011 05:59, CherianTinu Abraham <tinucherian@gmail.com>

> wrote:

> > Knowledge in olden times of India are transferred orally from Gurus (

> > Teachers) to students/disciples . They are not necessarily recorded. We

> are

> > talking about the ages even before manuscripts & paper are invented.

>

>

> Paper has been around for 1800 years. The odds of orally transmitted

> information remaining accurate over that kind of time period are

> limited.

>

> In any case the who Guru thing has taken a bit of a hammering lately

> from the likes of Sanal Edamaruku and Basava Premanand.

>

>

> --

> geni

>

> _______________________________________________

> foundation-l mailing list

> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org

> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

>

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 11:21 PM, whothis <whothith@gmail.com> wrote:

> I assume you probably
> had some say in selecting the current Board Member from India since you
> announced his appointment


Even though this is tangential to the main discussion, let me explain the
process through which I was appointed to the Board of Trustees in March
2010.

As I understand it, several names were given to the board committee dealing
with this appointment, including mine.

I then went through the following six interviews in this order:

1)Headhunter/recruitment firm from San Francisco (phone - I live in India)

2)Michael Snow, then WMF board chair (in person in SF)

3)Kat Walsh, WMF board member (in person)

4)Stu West, WMF board member (in person)

5)Sue Gardner, ED, WMF (in person)

6)Jimmy Wales, board member (Skype)

I was then offered a position on the board.

Achal did not announce my appointment on the Foundation list, Michael Snow
did. (Also, I'm a woman: 'her' appointment)

Achal mentored me into the India part of the role, introducing me to the
community via the India list and offlist, and the chapter board via a
separate list - and did some serious handholding in the first three months.
I am truly grateful for that - it helped me find my feet much more quickly
than I would have had I been trying to fit the pieces together on my own.

Best
Bishakha
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM, Wjhonson <wjhonson@aol.com> wrote:

>
>
> You are mistaking the problem.
> It's not that a piece of knowledge is not googleable.
> It's that a piece of knowledge is not published whatsoever.
>
> Never published. Anywhere. At any time. Ever.
> That's quite a different animal.
>
>
>
All disapproval of the Fellowship process appointment in this case, I fully
understand D. Gerard's (IMO, misworded) point and what Wjohnson's point is
as well. If we intend for the WMF to actually spread free knowledge, these
sort of documentaries are important. David's point would ring true with me
about the "teen en.wp" admins (to paraphrase) if I assumed that they knew of
the efforts since the fall of the Soviet Union to document Bulgarian folk
songs and stories. I own a few field recordings and have followed the
"west's" interest in this cultural documentation. I would expect a great
proportion of this mailing list to know of these studies, because this isn't
run of the mill editing that is discussed here.

The point is that financing a grant to document oral history is important.
Ask American musicologists what we would do without Alan Lomax's recordings
and the work of the Smithsonian in the 1920's and 1930's recording folk,
jazz, and blues. Don't knock it until you try it.

--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
Hi all,
As an active wikimedian from India, I am just sharing my personal take on
the whole thing

1) Achal as Fellow : Some of the folks commented that it was inappropriate
for Achal Prabhala selected for this position, also being a member of the
Foundation Advisory Board. I think it is the designation as fellow that is
misleading in the first place...and unlike the Board of Trustees, AFAIK,
Advisory Board has no real powers but is yet another formal group of
volunteers. We already have a lot of Foundation employees who are former
volunteers and who got recruited to staff by becoming known for their
volunteer work. I was wondering why there was no hue & cry earlier ? If
somebody is doing good work within the scope of objectives of the
Foundation, let us appreciate that. Think of the transparency of the whole
stuff that whatever he is planning to do is well announced and even has an
open grants page which is out there for public viewing.

2) Achal & India : Achal was always a guiding force in the Wikimedia
movement in India, not necessarily as an Adv Board member. He was always
supportive and encouraging our various individual volunteer efforts in
India. His efforts and support behind the Wikimedia India chapter is
self explanatory in one of the mails that I had forwarded to the foundation
list earlier. MZMcBride laments "*Achal has a growing influence on
Wikimedia, particularly its new operations in India*" . With no disrespect
to MZMcBride, may I ask, "*So what ?*". If somebody is doing some good work,
let them get due credit for this. What next ? Jimmy Wales has a growing
influence on Wikipedia and Wikimedia ? I would ask Achal to take this a
compliment :) Btw having known Achal personally for some time now, he is a
not a person who goes around and professes the good work he is doing and I
believe, that is the reason why he is not recognized for what he does.

3) Importance of documenting oral citations: Keegan & some others have
already done that earlier. Let me dare not to say that again and again. And
let us not jump into conclusions on things we don't really know and
understand.

Personal mudslinging is something that is uncalled for in a public list like
this. If there is a problem or gap in the process of grant request and
approval, in general, let us discuss that which is more productive.

Regards
Tinu Cherian

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Keegan Peterzell <keegan.wiki@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM, Wjhonson <wjhonson@aol.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > You are mistaking the problem.
> > It's not that a piece of knowledge is not googleable.
> > It's that a piece of knowledge is not published whatsoever.
> >
> > Never published. Anywhere. At any time. Ever.
> > That's quite a different animal.
> >
> >
> >
> All disapproval of the Fellowship process appointment in this case, I fully
> understand D. Gerard's (IMO, misworded) point and what Wjohnson's point is
> as well. If we intend for the WMF to actually spread free knowledge, these
> sort of documentaries are important. David's point would ring true with me
> about the "teen en.wp" admins (to paraphrase) if I assumed that they knew
> of
> the efforts since the fall of the Soviet Union to document Bulgarian folk
> songs and stories. I own a few field recordings and have followed the
> "west's" interest in this cultural documentation. I would expect a great
> proportion of this mailing list to know of these studies, because this
> isn't
> run of the mill editing that is discussed here.
>
> The point is that financing a grant to document oral history is important.
> Ask American musicologists what we would do without Alan Lomax's
> recordings
> and the work of the Smithsonian in the 1920's and 1930's recording folk,
> jazz, and blues. Don't knock it until you try it.
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 22 January 2011 04:17, CherianTinu Abraham <tinucherian@gmail.com> wrote:
> Come on friend, History of India and many other civilizations of world
> started thousands of years even before that. As somebody already said
> earlier, It is not something that everyone can easily comprehend..
> Every knowledge is NOT on the internet and Google searchable :)
>
> Sorry, No pun intended.
>
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
>

There are various carvings that date further back and of course
archaeological work. However this is the kind of thing that gets
recorded in academic records. Given the rate at which oral information
appears to break down (remember the [[Great Hedge of India]] seems to
have slipped most people's minds) it's questionable how much gurus
(even if we ignore the more blatant frauds) would actually know about
the history of India pre East India Company that isn't already in
writen records.


--
geni

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 1/21/11 5:46 PM, David Gerard wrote:
> No-one is in fact obliged to respond to you on foundation-l, indeed
> many WMF employees and WMF and chapter volunteers don't read it,
> referring instead to it as troll-l. It would be nice if this weren't
> the case.

I know a good way to help achieve that. Ban the trolls. It's what we
do on the wiki, and it works.

--Jimbo

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 26 January 2011 07:24, Jimmy Wales <jwales@wikia-inc.com> wrote:
> On 1/21/11 5:46 PM, David Gerard wrote:

>> No-one is in fact obliged to respond to you on foundation-l, indeed
>> many WMF employees and WMF and chapter volunteers don't read it,
>> referring instead to it as troll-l. It would be nice if this weren't
>> the case.

> I know a good way to help achieve that.  Ban the trolls.  It's what we
> do on the wiki, and it works.


I think MZ has a reasonable misunderstanding, and was just horribly
unpleasant in his phrasing. Hence my attempt to address his concerns
properly, even speaking just as any old volunteer.

The trouble with trolls is that there's a grey area of "inept" between
"polite" and "trolling".


- d.

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
David Gerard wrote:
> On 26 January 2011 07:24, Jimmy Wales <jwales@wikia-inc.com> wrote:
>> On 1/21/11 5:46 PM, David Gerard wrote:
>>> No-one is in fact obliged to respond to you on foundation-l, indeed
>>> many WMF employees and WMF and chapter volunteers don't read it,
>>> referring instead to it as troll-l. It would be nice if this weren't
>>> the case.
>>
>> I know a good way to help achieve that.  Ban the trolls.  It's what we
>> do on the wiki, and it works.
>
> I think MZ has a reasonable misunderstanding, and was just horribly
> unpleasant in his phrasing. Hence my attempt to address his concerns
> properly, even speaking just as any old volunteer.

I don't think Jimmy was calling _me_ a troll. I assume (in good faith) that
he was speaking generally.

Jimmy has previously made way too many off-the-cuff remarks that have gotten
him into hot water to repeat that mistake again, surely.

MZMcBride



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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 26 January 2011 22:54, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Jimmy has previously made way too many off-the-cuff remarks that have gotten
> him into hot water to repeat that mistake again, surely.


*cough*Sarah Palin*cough*


- d.

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 4:10 PM, CherianTinu Abraham
<tinucherian@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi all,
> As an active wikimedian from India, I am just sharing my personal take on
> the whole thing
>
>
Firstly, my apologize for my late response to this thread, due to my other
pre-occupations. I needed to catch up with the thread before I responded.

As a manner of introductions I am one of the members of the current
Executive committee of the Wikimedia India chapter. I have also been active
in organizing the regular monthly meetups for Wikipedians in Bangalore and
the recent W10 event.

As a member of the team that worked to get the chapter formally
registered, for nearly two years (this has been attempted a few times
earlier unsuccessfully), I have no hesitation in saying that Achal has
played a key role in assisting and supporting the team in getting the
chapter formation going.

I was going through my email archives and I ran into the email he sent some
of us on 31-Mar-09 proposing the first meetup of the team. Please note we
are now formally a chapter as per the local laws from 02-Jan-2011. Achal has
been supportive and helpful through this journey and provided necessary
advise when sought. Thank you Achal.

There have been other comments on the clarity of roles and their tenure. As
a member of the community I do believe that there is opportunity for the
foundation to define some these more clearly to avoid misunderstandings of
this nature in the future. Having attended the chapter's meeting in Berlin
last year I am aware of the Movement roles initiative to bring further
clarity regarding various stakeholders and roles.

As far as the specific project for which the grant was offered, I do
believe the project would be of help and value, as would many other that
need to be done to catalyze the growth of wikipedia in the numerous Indian
languages.

Best regards
Arun



> 1) Achal as Fellow : Some of the folks commented that it was inappropriate
> for Achal Prabhala selected for this position, also being a member of the
> Foundation Advisory Board. I think it is the designation as fellow that is
> misleading in the first place...and unlike the Board of Trustees, AFAIK,
> Advisory Board has no real powers but is yet another formal group of
> volunteers. We already have a lot of Foundation employees who are former
> volunteers and who got recruited to staff by becoming known for their
> volunteer work. I was wondering why there was no hue & cry earlier ? If
> somebody is doing good work within the scope of objectives of the
> Foundation, let us appreciate that. Think of the transparency of the whole
> stuff that whatever he is planning to do is well announced and even has an
> open grants page which is out there for public viewing.
>
> 2) Achal & India : Achal was always a guiding force in the Wikimedia
> movement in India, not necessarily as an Adv Board member. He was always
> supportive and encouraging our various individual volunteer efforts in
> India. His efforts and support behind the Wikimedia India chapter is
> self explanatory in one of the mails that I had forwarded to the foundation
> list earlier. MZMcBride laments "*Achal has a growing influence on
> Wikimedia, particularly its new operations in India*" . With no disrespect
> to MZMcBride, may I ask, "*So what ?*". If somebody is doing some good
> work,
> let them get due credit for this. What next ? Jimmy Wales has a growing
> influence on Wikipedia and Wikimedia ? I would ask Achal to take this a
> compliment :) Btw having known Achal personally for some time now, he is a
> not a person who goes around and professes the good work he is doing and I
> believe, that is the reason why he is not recognized for what he does.
>
> 3) Importance of documenting oral citations: Keegan & some others have
> already done that earlier. Let me dare not to say that again and again. And
> let us not jump into conclusions on things we don't really know and
> understand.
>
> Personal mudslinging is something that is uncalled for in a public list
> like
> this. If there is a problem or gap in the process of grant request and
> approval, in general, let us discuss that which is more productive.
>
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
>
> On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Keegan Peterzell <keegan.wiki@gmail.com
> >wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM, Wjhonson <wjhonson@aol.com> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > You are mistaking the problem.
> > > It's not that a piece of knowledge is not googleable.
> > > It's that a piece of knowledge is not published whatsoever.
> > >
> > > Never published. Anywhere. At any time. Ever.
> > > That's quite a different animal.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > All disapproval of the Fellowship process appointment in this case, I
> fully
> > understand D. Gerard's (IMO, misworded) point and what Wjohnson's point
> is
> > as well. If we intend for the WMF to actually spread free knowledge,
> these
> > sort of documentaries are important. David's point would ring true with
> me
> > about the "teen en.wp" admins (to paraphrase) if I assumed that they knew
> > of
> > the efforts since the fall of the Soviet Union to document Bulgarian folk
> > songs and stories. I own a few field recordings and have followed the
> > "west's" interest in this cultural documentation. I would expect a great
> > proportion of this mailing list to know of these studies, because this
> > isn't
> > run of the mill editing that is discussed here.
> >
> > The point is that financing a grant to document oral history is
> important.
> > Ask American musicologists what we would do without Alan Lomax's
> > recordings
> > and the work of the Smithsonian in the 1920's and 1930's recording folk,
> > jazz, and blues. Don't knock it until you try it.
> >
> > --
> > ~Keegan
> >
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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>
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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 26 January 2011 23:41, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26 January 2011 22:54, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>
>> Jimmy has previously made way too many off-the-cuff remarks that have gotten
>> him into hot water to repeat that mistake again, surely.
>
>
> *cough*Sarah Palin*cough*

Comparing Jimmy to Sarah Palin is taking it too far - he's not even
close to being that bad!

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Re: Questions about new Fellow [ In reply to ]
On 27 January 2011 20:30, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26 January 2011 23:41, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 26 January 2011 22:54, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

>>> Jimmy has previously made way too many off-the-cuff remarks that have gotten
>>> him into hot water to repeat that mistake again, surely.

>> *cough*Sarah Palin*cough*

> Comparing Jimmy to Sarah Palin is taking it too far - he's not even
> close to being that bad!


Sorry, being excessively oblique. I was referring to this interview:

http://www.newstatesman.com/technology/2011/01/wikipedia-party-vote-view

Fortunately the Tea Party haven't been round with signs and upset
chanting. But even highly experienced media people can occasionally
fail to speak only in perfectly rounded soundbites ;-)


- d.

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