Mailing List Archive

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
J'habite au Canada et rien ni personne ne peux ou ne veux porter respect et
compassion aucune Limite. Un monde assoiffé de vengeance, méchanceté aucune
reconnaissance .

Je suis véronique Michaud Only
Bye
Le 27 févr. 2016 2:37 PM, "phoebe ayers" <phoebe.wiki@gmail.com> a écrit :

> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 2:30 PM, Anna Stillwell
> <astillwell@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> > Before adding another layer of process and reporting and complexity
> > structurally, we should more likely try to renew the heart of HR and
> allow
> > them to work with Legal in partnership as they had done so well
> throughout
> > our entire history.
>
> Fair, and I certainly appreciate this. To be clear my idea is only for
> a temporary position -- only a few months at most, really -- and could
> certainly happen concurrently with such a build-out of HR.
>
> Phoebe
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
> On 28 Feb 2016, at 2:25 PM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>> On 28 Feb 2016, at 1:16 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:44 PM, Anna Stillwell <astillwell@wikimedia.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Jimmy,
>>>
>>> I have a ridiculous amount of respect for you and what you have
>>> accomplished. I have watched from afar (I was living a lot in other
>>> countries) as this radical experiment in trust *exploded* on to the world.
>>> It blew my mind. And some of the early rules that were set were nothing
>>> short of genius (e.g. NPOV, AGF and due weight come to mind). It was an
>>> ideal experiment: an open frontier with simple, limited rule sets. And the
>>> icing on the cake is that "citation needed" ended up not just influencing
>>> how I thought about an encyclopedic text, but how I thought about
>>> discussing ideas.
>>>
>>
>> Anna,
>>
>> Hold on just a moment. :)
>>
>> It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the things
>> you speak of alone.
>>

Funny you should say this :-) I’m the “inventor” of [citation needed].

You know why I created [citation needed] on Wikipedia? Because the amount of ill-informed, badly thought out, ridiculous claims on Wikipedia articles were getting out hand. I started removing them to the talk page, but then that same person not only refused to explain where they got their information from, but would put the "fact" back into the article. This would then perpetuate incorrect information.

One day I had an epiphany. I realised that you can't just argue with these people, you need to have a reverse citation system - you need to clearly mark out information that is dubious, ill-informed, the result of ingrained prejudice (often unconsciously so) and almost always inaccurate.

At the same time, there needed to be a way of allowing controversial views and sometimes accurate but controversial facts be detailed on the encyclopaedia.
There was only one way I could see to do it - use the same citation system that referenced sources but invert it to highlight information that needed a source. Hence I created citation needed (originally without the square brackets, whoever added them was a genius in their own right).

Guess what? It worked. 11 years later, despite the many issues on Wikipedia, finding out the source of assumptions is no longer a problem. People can go to the citations and see where the factoid is documented, or whose opinion is being expressed. It allows ordinary people to judge the view being expressed more accurately, or to look at how the data was extrapolated, to understand how the academic study was conducted, or to verify that what is claimed is actually what the original claimant was indeed claiming.

But I’d like to make the point: I could *never* have created [citation needed] if someone had not created the policy to cite sources, and hundreds and hundreds of other editors didn’t have a commitment to sources. So whilst [citation needed] was probably one of my best ideas (sometimes I wonder if this might not be an indictment to my creativitity!) I have to say that it was only possible because of the commitment by my peers on Wikipedia to making the project great, and because of those who came before me.

And I’m happy to know that my good idea has literally influences and improved the critical faculties of so many people who use our encyclopedia today!

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Andreas,

> It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the things
you speak of alone.

Yes, I'm aware of this. Perhaps I should have been more clear. I was
pointing to the fact that Jimmy did not mess it up. I don't ever
underestimate that. Jimmy could have not allowed that to happen, he could
have charged money, he could have done a lot of other things, and he did
not. He did not mess it up and that is really saying something.

Warmly,
/a


On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:16 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:44 PM, Anna Stillwell <astillwell@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Jimmy,
> >
> > I have a ridiculous amount of respect for you and what you have
> > accomplished. I have watched from afar (I was living a lot in other
> > countries) as this radical experiment in trust *exploded* on to the
> world.
> > It blew my mind. And some of the early rules that were set were nothing
> > short of genius (e.g. NPOV, AGF and due weight come to mind). It was an
> > ideal experiment: an open frontier with simple, limited rule sets. And
> the
> > icing on the cake is that "citation needed" ended up not just influencing
> > how I thought about an encyclopedic text, but how I thought about
> > discussing ideas.
> >
>
> Anna,
>
> Hold on just a moment. :)
>
> It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the things
> you speak of alone.
>
> First of all, the person who originally had the idea for Wikipedia was
> Larry Sanger.[1] Jimmy Wales reportedly thought at the time people would
> find the idea of an encyclopedia anyone can edit "objectionable".[2]
>
> But he let Sanger try it. That it "took off" was a surprise to everyone at
> the time!
>
> Sanger coined the name "Wikipedia"[3] and invited the first
> contributors.[4] Sanger wrote Nupedia's Non-bias policy, the precursor to
> NPOV, but Jimmy Wales made important input to the NPOV policy later on, in
> particular the "due weight" principle.[5]
>
> Sanger was Wikipedia's editor-in-chief in its early days, and had far more
> hands-on involvement in guiding the development of the project in its
> childhood. (Jimmy Wales made just 21 edits to Wikipedia in the year 2002,
> according to his edit history, while Sanger made hundreds.)
>
> "Assume good faith" was created by Morwen in March 2004. I'm not aware that
> Jimmy Wales had any role in its creation (he was hardly around on-wiki in
> the months prior to March 2004).
>
> So let's not forget that Wikipedia has always been the work of many people.
> :) That includes its fundamental policies.
>
>
>
> > So it is from that genuine respect base that I disagree with you on this
> > particular point:
> >
> > "> I would love to know whether you supported Lila Tretikov's departure.
> It
> > is
> > > clear that she did not up and resign on her own, and I would like to
> know
> > > if you were one of the folks who thought her departure would be
> > beneficial,
> > > or if you preferred she "weather the storm," so to speak.
> >
> > I supported it with sadness. The whole thing is a sad train wreck."
> >
> > I do not think this is a train wreck. I think this is one of the hottest
> > moments since this genius encyclopedia exploded onto the world.
> >
> > People are engaged.
> >
>
>
> Here I wholeheartedly agree with you. :) One of the best things to have
> come out of this is that there are bonds between volunteers and staff that
> have never been there before. These are exciting times.
>
> Best,
> Andreas
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2001-October/000671.html
> [2]
>
> http://web.archive.org/web/20030414014355/http://www.nupedia.com/pipermail/nupedia-l/2001-January/000676.html
> [3]
>
> http://web.archive.org/web/20030414021138/http://www.nupedia.com/pipermail/nupedia-l/2001-January/000680.html
> [4]
>
> http://web.archive.org/web/20010506042824/www.nupedia.com/pipermail/nupedia-l/2001-January/000684.html
> [5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#History
> _______________________________________________
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--
Anna Stillwell
Major Gifts Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
415.806.1536
*www.wikimediafoundation.org <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Cool. I think about [citation needed] all of the time when I am at work and
we are expressing opinions.

/a

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79@gmail.com>
wrote:

>
> > On 28 Feb 2016, at 2:25 PM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> On 28 Feb 2016, at 1:16 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:44 PM, Anna Stillwell <
> astillwell@wikimedia.org>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Jimmy,
> >>>
> >>> I have a ridiculous amount of respect for you and what you have
> >>> accomplished. I have watched from afar (I was living a lot in other
> >>> countries) as this radical experiment in trust *exploded* on to the
> world.
> >>> It blew my mind. And some of the early rules that were set were nothing
> >>> short of genius (e.g. NPOV, AGF and due weight come to mind). It was an
> >>> ideal experiment: an open frontier with simple, limited rule sets. And
> the
> >>> icing on the cake is that "citation needed" ended up not just
> influencing
> >>> how I thought about an encyclopedic text, but how I thought about
> >>> discussing ideas.
> >>>
> >>
> >> Anna,
> >>
> >> Hold on just a moment. :)
> >>
> >> It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the
> things
> >> you speak of alone.
> >>
>
> Funny you should say this :-) I’m the “inventor” of [citation needed].
>
> You know why I created [citation needed] on Wikipedia? Because the amount
> of ill-informed, badly thought out, ridiculous claims on Wikipedia articles
> were getting out hand. I started removing them to the talk page, but then
> that same person not only refused to explain where they got their
> information from, but would put the "fact" back into the article. This
> would then perpetuate incorrect information.
>
> One day I had an epiphany. I realised that you can't just argue with these
> people, you need to have a reverse citation system - you need to clearly
> mark out information that is dubious, ill-informed, the result of ingrained
> prejudice (often unconsciously so) and almost always inaccurate.
>
> At the same time, there needed to be a way of allowing controversial views
> and sometimes accurate but controversial facts be detailed on the
> encyclopaedia.
> There was only one way I could see to do it - use the same citation system
> that referenced sources but invert it to highlight information that needed
> a source. Hence I created citation needed (originally without the square
> brackets, whoever added them was a genius in their own right).
>
> Guess what? It worked. 11 years later, despite the many issues on
> Wikipedia, finding out the source of assumptions is no longer a problem.
> People can go to the citations and see where the factoid is documented, or
> whose opinion is being expressed. It allows ordinary people to judge the
> view being expressed more accurately, or to look at how the data was
> extrapolated, to understand how the academic study was conducted, or to
> verify that what is claimed is actually what the original claimant was
> indeed claiming.
>
> But I’d like to make the point: I could *never* have created [citation
> needed] if someone had not created the policy to cite sources, and hundreds
> and hundreds of other editors didn’t have a commitment to sources. So
> whilst [citation needed] was probably one of my best ideas (sometimes I
> wonder if this might not be an indictment to my creativitity!) I have to
> say that it was only possible because of the commitment by my peers on
> Wikipedia to making the project great, and because of those who came before
> me.
>
> And I’m happy to know that my good idea has literally influences and
> improved the critical faculties of so many people who use our encyclopedia
> today!
>
> Chris
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Anna Stillwell
Major Gifts Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
415.806.1536
*www.wikimediafoundation.org <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Anna,

That too is largely due to volunteers. In early February 2002 for example,
Jimmy spoke of putting advertising on Wikipedia, saying on the Wikipedia-l
mailing list:[1][2]

---o0o---

However, with the ongoing hard times in the Internet economy, we do
anticipate adding some forms of advertising to the site in the near future.

---o0o---

The result of these plans being aired on the mailing list was a user
revolt.

The entire Spanish Wikipedia community jumped ship: they forked and created
their own project, the Enciclopedia Libre. It took the Spanish Wikipedia
years to catch up with and overtake EL.

Edgar Enyedy, one of the leaders of that revolt, shared his reminiscences
with Wired's Nathaniel Tkacz in 2011:[3]

---o0o---

[...]

*The clash that led to your departure from Wikipedia was sparked by a
seemingly insignificant remark, made by Sanger in passing about the
possibility of incorporating advertising in order to fund his future work
on the encyclopaedia(s). His exact words were, "Bomis might well start
selling ads on Wikipedia sometime within the next few months".[4] Can you
revisit this event and tell us how it unfolded? *

The possibility of advertising was out of the question. I asked Wales for a
public commitment that there would be no advertising, but this only came
after we left. Apart from those already mentioned (Sanger's role and the
autonomy of the Spanish version) there were other points of disagreement.

Firstly, all Wikipedia domains (.com, .org, .net) were owned by Wales. I
asked myself "why are we working for a dot com?" I asked for Wikipedia to
be changed to a dot org.

[...]

Because of these things, I didn't trust Wales' intentions. Not at all. We
were all working for free in a dot com with no access to the servers, no
mirrors, no software updates, no downloadable database, and no way to set
up the wiki itself. Finally, came the possibility of incorporating
advertising, so we left. It couldn't be any other way.

I would like to remark upon the fact that as it is known today, the
International Wikipedia that you all know and have come to take for
granted, might have been impossible without the Spanish fork. Wales was
worried that other foreign communities would follow our fork. He learnt
from us what to do and what not to do in future.

---o0o---

It's an interesting article, and a fascinating bit of Wikipedia history. At
one point, Jimmy Wales apparently envisaged selling hard copies (!) of the
encyclopedias; hence the GNU/FDL licence.

The point is, user revolts have always been a significant part of making
Wikipedia what it is today.

This includes its being an ad-free non-profit.

Andreas

[1] Feb. 2, 2002 mailing list post by Jimmy Wales:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2002-February/001279.html
[2] http://larrysanger.org/2011/01/jimmy-wales-on-advertisement/
[3]
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-01/20/wikipedia-spanish-fork/viewall
[4] Feb. 13, 2002 mailing list post by Larry Sanger:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2002-February/001444.html

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 4:58 AM, Anna Stillwell <astillwell@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Andreas,
>
> > It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the
> things
> you speak of alone.
>
> Yes, I'm aware of this. Perhaps I should have been more clear. I was
> pointing to the fact that Jimmy did not mess it up. I don't ever
> underestimate that. Jimmy could have not allowed that to happen, he could
> have charged money, he could have done a lot of other things, and he did
> not. He did not mess it up and that is really saying something.
>
> Warmly,
> /a
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Hey Chris, that's great! I didn't know that. I really should have checked
the [[Template:Citation needed]] edit history yesterday.

There you are:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Citation_needed&oldid=17662960

Well done!

Andreas

Andreas

On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 3:37 AM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79@gmail.com>
wrote:

>
> > On 28 Feb 2016, at 2:25 PM, Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> On 28 Feb 2016, at 1:16 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:44 PM, Anna Stillwell <
> astillwell@wikimedia.org>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Jimmy,
> >>>
> >>> I have a ridiculous amount of respect for you and what you have
> >>> accomplished. I have watched from afar (I was living a lot in other
> >>> countries) as this radical experiment in trust *exploded* on to the
> world.
> >>> It blew my mind. And some of the early rules that were set were nothing
> >>> short of genius (e.g. NPOV, AGF and due weight come to mind). It was an
> >>> ideal experiment: an open frontier with simple, limited rule sets. And
> the
> >>> icing on the cake is that "citation needed" ended up not just
> influencing
> >>> how I thought about an encyclopedic text, but how I thought about
> >>> discussing ideas.
> >>>
> >>
> >> Anna,
> >>
> >> Hold on just a moment. :)
> >>
> >> It's important to understand that Jimmy Wales didn't accomplish the
> things
> >> you speak of alone.
> >>
>
> Funny you should say this :-) I’m the “inventor” of [citation needed].
>
> You know why I created [citation needed] on Wikipedia? Because the amount
> of ill-informed, badly thought out, ridiculous claims on Wikipedia articles
> were getting out hand. I started removing them to the talk page, but then
> that same person not only refused to explain where they got their
> information from, but would put the "fact" back into the article. This
> would then perpetuate incorrect information.
>
> One day I had an epiphany. I realised that you can't just argue with these
> people, you need to have a reverse citation system - you need to clearly
> mark out information that is dubious, ill-informed, the result of ingrained
> prejudice (often unconsciously so) and almost always inaccurate.
>
> At the same time, there needed to be a way of allowing controversial views
> and sometimes accurate but controversial facts be detailed on the
> encyclopaedia.
> There was only one way I could see to do it - use the same citation system
> that referenced sources but invert it to highlight information that needed
> a source. Hence I created citation needed (originally without the square
> brackets, whoever added them was a genius in their own right).
>
> Guess what? It worked. 11 years later, despite the many issues on
> Wikipedia, finding out the source of assumptions is no longer a problem.
> People can go to the citations and see where the factoid is documented, or
> whose opinion is being expressed. It allows ordinary people to judge the
> view being expressed more accurately, or to look at how the data was
> extrapolated, to understand how the academic study was conducted, or to
> verify that what is claimed is actually what the original claimant was
> indeed claiming.
>
> But I’d like to make the point: I could *never* have created [citation
> needed] if someone had not created the policy to cite sources, and hundreds
> and hundreds of other editors didn’t have a commitment to sources. So
> whilst [citation needed] was probably one of my best ideas (sometimes I
> wonder if this might not be an indictment to my creativitity!) I have to
> say that it was only possible because of the commitment by my peers on
> Wikipedia to making the project great, and because of those who came before
> me.
>
> And I’m happy to know that my good idea has literally influences and
> improved the critical faculties of so many people who use our encyclopedia
> today!
>
> Chris
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
A couple of responses in-line below.

Jimmy, if you would like me to be able to respond to issues on your
Wikipedia talk page, let me know. It's been 4 years now since you
censored me from writing there, which seems like a long time to hold a
grudge.

On 27 February 2016 at 14:39, Jimmy Wales <jimmywales@ymail.com> wrote:
> On 2/26/16 9:17 PM, Fæ wrote:
>> I hope you will be able to address nagging concerns about your
>> personal support for keeping the search project a secret last year,
>
> Sure - I never supported keeping the proposed and approved work on
> Discovery and Search secret last year at all. I don't know of anyone
> who did. The failure to sufficiently disclose happened, but it was not
> a point that was discussed at the board level to my knowledge. I don't
> know of any board members, past or present, who think or thought that
> such things should be kept from the community.
>
> It is my longstanding and continued position that the Foundation should
> be as open as legally possible with only a very limited degree of
> non-disclosure, mostly around legal matters and around employee matters.
> There are a few other examples, too, like price negotiations with
> vendors, and so on like that. With regard to our long term strategy, I
> continue to strongly support that everything should not only be
> disclosed to the community, but that it makes no sense for it to be in
> conflict with the community, and that very often it should be led by the
> community in consultation with the Foundation.

As has been raised by others in this email thread, a key core and
legally defined duty of the board is to hold your senior management to
account. If the board of trustees is out of touch with the Wikimedia
community giving "plausible deniability" for a claim that throughout
2015 you thought your management team was being open about the huge
(in terms of relative staff numbers) Knowledge Engine / Search Engine
project and original Knight Grant application in 2015, even while
faced with many public requests for information about the grant and
the "secret project", then the WMF board was not competent or meeting
its commitment to transparency or basic governance.

Politically your words look good, but they must be able to be
demonstrated by action. The claim that you are personally pushing for
"the Foundation should be as open as legally possible with only a very
limited degree of non-disclosure" does not withstand comparison
against the facts. As a trivial example, you have been avoiding the
publication of your email to James about his dismissal, yet apparently
both you and he are agreed can and should be published. While you are
at it, could you copy to me the email(s) about me that you sent to
your fellow board members when I was Chair of the Chapters'
Association? You have a history of behind the scenes dealing and
politicking, when there are no "legal matters" that can apply to your
personal views in correspondence, so I am sure you can understand why
some of those Wikimedians that have become disillusioned as targets of
your non-public criticism or excruciating public criticism without
your engagement in a proper process of evidence or a right to
challenge, will continue to be sceptical of your ability to lead on
openness and transparency, unless you can honestly address those past
cases.

>> and your conflict of loyalties during that process, shortly after your
>> visit.
>
> I did not have any conflict of loyalties during that process. Spending
> a reasonable portion of our IT budget on an ambitious project to improve
> search and discovery, and to conduct research and community consultation
> on that, is a great idea for Wikipedia and for the broader Wikimedia
> movement and I strongly support it.

Again I struggle to reconcile your opinions of your conflict of
loyalties, with how the general public would perceive a clearly
presented history of your role as an unelected WMF trustee, or
effective "trustee for life" as many have called it, with a personal
role for CEO selection that you have created for yourself, your part
in trustee appointments and the opportunities your regularly have on
the board to steer WMF strategy to encourage projects that suit your
preferences, with your significant financial interest in Wikia, Inc.,
your past experience with "Wikia Search" and how the WMF
Knowledge/Search engine development would fulfil Wikia's strategy for
selling more commercial services, selling Wikia user data and making a
greater profit from targeted advertising.[1] However I'll nail this
down a bit more in a separate thread as assessing the public
perception of your potential conflict of loyalties is worth having
multiple views on, rather than just your opinions or mine.

Links:
1. "Take advantage of Wikia's custom research solutions to achieve
campaign objectives, including brand lift studies, target audience
insights, and more!", "Reach the right audience with the right message
using Wikia's multitude of targeting opportunities, including
demographic, psychographic, geographic, contextual, genre, devices,
conquesting, and more!" http://www.wikia.com/mediakit

Thanks,
Fae
--
faewik@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Jimmy,

Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what have
you.

I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are apparently
the one doing so.

Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like an
extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes that
very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?

Thanks,
Molly (GorillaWarfare)


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On 2/29/16 2:25 AM, Molly White wrote:
> Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
> I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
> did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
> whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what have
> you.

Ah, ok. :) I wondered why it mattered but thought I'd just answer
plainly in case you were concerned that not doing it in person would
fail to convey nuance, etc. (A valid concern, always.)

> I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
> communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are apparently
> the one doing so.

I'm not the only one. Alice is here in San Francisco, too.

> Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
> make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
> Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like an
> extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes that
> very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
> concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?

Sure. It's a potentially tough problem, and likely made worse by a lot
of misconceptions being thrown around by people who have misrepresented
my views. It's been claimed, for example, that I was the chief
architect of a concept that staff shouldn't talk to board members -
overcoming that misunderstanding is important to me.

I am not involved at all in hiring and firing decisions, and don't
intend to become so involved. I'm not becoming the interim ED nor the
permanent ED. I've been here from the beginning and I am very
passionate about Wikipedia and our mission. I have no specific axe to
grind other than that one.

My heart is heavy about what has happened here, and one of the things
that I feel most heavy about - and that I've heard from staff - is that
I lost touch with them. I remember driving to the November board
meeting thinking "Well, this is going to be fairly routine and boring"
because I had no idea what awaited me there - which was a train wreck of
a meeting which left millions more questions than answers but which made
it clear that something big was going on.

In my reporting back to the board, and in future discussions with the
interim ED and permanent ED, I intend to report generally and as NPOV as
I can on what I've learned. I don't intend to name names, as that's not
really relevant. I won't be making any hiring or firing
recommendations, as I'm not in a position to even begin to evaluate
people on that level.

Intimidation about speaking up is a terrible and perverse thing to
happen in any organization. If that's a feeling that the organization
has had, I want to put forward the idea that it's over. If I were
moving into the ED position, it would be my first priority - to root
that out. It's devastating. Work life shouldn't be about that - it
should be about the mission, about everything we have all be dreaming of
and working toward and enjoying for all these years.

And it will be one of the qualities that I'm looking for in any interim
and permanent ED - a sense that they will build a creative, nurturing,
bold workplace. And I also think we absolutely need to build in
mechanisms for structured, professional, facilitated thoughtful feedback
from the staff directly to the board is a regular thing.

In short, there is no reason for anyone to be afraid to talk to me.

But, I should note, I've had a huge response to my offer to meet with
people, and as far as I can tell checking with people who know more
people than I do, I'm getting a nice mix of people - noisy ones, quiet
ones, angry ones, satisfied ones.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:13 PM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywales@wikia-inc.com>
wrote:

> Intimidation about speaking up is a terrible and perverse thing to
> happen in any organization. If that's a feeling that the organization
> has had, I want to put forward the idea that it's over. If I were
> moving into the ED position, it would be my first priority - to root
> that out. It's devastating. Work life shouldn't be about that - it
> should be about the mission, about everything we have all be dreaming of
> and working toward and enjoying for all these years.
>


A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though he
had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content of
the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.

Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
transparency?

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though he
> had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content of
> the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
>
> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> transparency?

I don't know, as I haven't seen those. If there is a standard
boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
the usual sort of thing. I don't see that it matters much either way,
to be frank.

In some cases, employees will be bound by specific nondisclosure
agreements with partner organizations that bind the Foundation. I would
not say that publishing the details of those makes sense. Let me give a
purely hypothetical example for the sake of clarity.

Suppose we negotiate with a vendor to buy some hardware and manage to
get a great discount because the vendor loves Wikipedia. The vendor
might say, hey, look, I can only give this discount to Wikipedia, and it
would hurt my competitive position in the marketplace if the price I'm
giving you were well known. So they'll say, hey, I can give you this
discount, but only under a nondisclosure agreement.

I wouldn't support publishing that nondisclosure agreement.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:

> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> transparency?
>
>
There are different ways to perceive the WMF and different benchmarks to
relate to. If we perceive the WMF as a Silicon Valley, high-tech
organization, that just happens to be organized as an NGO, and is
contemporarily relying on an open collaboration in a community of editors
(until the machines can substitute them), then surely good benchmarks will
be other Silicon Valley organizations, and using the industry standard
non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements make sense.

I believe that we are something else. We are a social movement, and the WMF
is a mission-driven NGO, that has its top competence in supporting the open
knowledge community, and happens to be pretty good at legal and tech
support, too. But tech has a supportive, not leading role. We,
theoretically, could outsource a lot of tech, but we could not outsource a
lot of community work.

Therefore I believe that better benchmarks would be other rights- and
access-oriented NGOs (Amnesty International? Soros Foundation?), F/L/OSS
movement (Apache Foundation? EFF?), and universities (Oxford? Harvard?
Sorbonne?). By understanding these benchmarks, we can build adequate
standards of transparency, and follow suit in legalese. I believe that a
lot of our current tensions stem basically from not formulating the
fundamental vision of who we are and who we want to be.

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
I agree with Dariusz on this, and have 2 additional thoughts:

1. I'm not sure that Silicon Valley organizations as a whole are more
secretive than many NGOs. Some are famously super secretive - Apple.
Others are not really - Automattic (Wordpress). Some NGOs tend to be
very controlling of messages, and some not so much.

2. The overall point, I think, is that we should make sure that employee
agreements are on the open end of the spectrum. F/L/OSS movements and
organizations tend to be much more open than other organizations. We're
a strongly community-driven movement *about the free sharing of
knowledge* - so our culture means we need to push openness to a point
that most organizations would find bewildering.

--Jimbo


On 2/29/16 7:26 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
>> clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
>> you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
>> transparency?
>>
>>
> There are different ways to perceive the WMF and different benchmarks to
> relate to. If we perceive the WMF as a Silicon Valley, high-tech
> organization, that just happens to be organized as an NGO, and is
> contemporarily relying on an open collaboration in a community of editors
> (until the machines can substitute them), then surely good benchmarks will
> be other Silicon Valley organizations, and using the industry standard
> non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements make sense.
>
> I believe that we are something else. We are a social movement, and the WMF
> is a mission-driven NGO, that has its top competence in supporting the open
> knowledge community, and happens to be pretty good at legal and tech
> support, too. But tech has a supportive, not leading role. We,
> theoretically, could outsource a lot of tech, but we could not outsource a
> lot of community work.
>
> Therefore I believe that better benchmarks would be other rights- and
> access-oriented NGOs (Amnesty International? Soros Foundation?), F/L/OSS
> movement (Apache Foundation? EFF?), and universities (Oxford? Harvard?
> Sorbonne?). By understanding these benchmarks, we can build adequate
> standards of transparency, and follow suit in legalese. I believe that a
> lot of our current tensions stem basically from not formulating the
> fundamental vision of who we are and who we want to be.
>
> dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywales@wikia-inc.com>
wrote:

> On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though
> he
> > had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content
> of
> > the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
> >
> > Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and
> non-disparagement
> > clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
> > you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
> > transparency?
>
> I don't know, as I haven't seen those. If there is a standard
> boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
> practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
> I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
> the usual sort of thing. I don't see that it matters much either way,
> to be frank.
>


Well, there's been enough interest in this over the years to justify it. It
would quell speculation.

As you are currently in SF, it should be fairly easy to arrange for someone
to post the standard, boilerplate non-disclosure
agreements/non-disparagement clauses that (1) staff and (2) management have
to sign here on this list, or lets us know where we can find them on the
WMF website.

If universities and commercial companies are able to do that, so should WMF.



> In some cases, employees will be bound by specific nondisclosure
> agreements with partner organizations that bind the Foundation. I would
> not say that publishing the details of those makes sense. Let me give a
> purely hypothetical example for the sake of clarity.
>
> Suppose we negotiate with a vendor to buy some hardware and manage to
> get a great discount because the vendor loves Wikipedia. The vendor
> might say, hey, look, I can only give this discount to Wikipedia, and it
> would hurt my competitive position in the marketplace if the price I'm
> giving you were well known. So they'll say, hey, I can give you this
> discount, but only under a nondisclosure agreement.
>
> I wouldn't support publishing that nondisclosure agreement.
>


Sure. Me neither.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywales@wikia-inc.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 2/29/16 7:00 AM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>> > A few days ago, Oliver Keyes said[1] here on this list that, even though
>> he
>> > had already quit his job, he was scared to share with people the content
>> of
>> > the non-disclosure agreement he had to sign as a WMF staff member.
>> >
>> > Do you believe the various non-disclosure agreements and
>> non-disparagement
>> > clauses that staff have to sign to work at the WMF should be public? Will
>> > you encourage staff to share their content, in the interests of
>> > transparency?
>>
>> I don't know, as I haven't seen those. If there is a standard
>> boilerplate non-disclosure agrement that all staff sign (normal
>> practice) then I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be made public.
>> I also don't see much reason *for* it to be made public, if it's just
>> the usual sort of thing. I don't see that it matters much either way,
>> to be frank.
>>
>
>
> Well, there's been enough interest in this over the years to justify it. It
> would quell speculation.
>
> As you are currently in SF, it should be fairly easy to arrange for someone
> to post the standard, boilerplate non-disclosure
> agreements/non-disparagement clauses that (1) staff and (2) management have
> to sign here on this list, or lets us know where we can find them on the
> WMF website.
>
> If universities and commercial companies are able to do that, so should WMF.
>

It's worth noting that publishing the current standard != publishing
what people have signed. The document has varied a lot over the years
(I helped tweak/copyedit some of the volunteer NDAs a few years back,
hence paying attention to this). I would really love if whatever the
latest version of the NDA is, everyone re-signed, to avoid ambiguity
here. At the moment what people are prohibited from doing varies
depending on when they joined the organisation.

The current staff NDA, interestingly, I can't find on the Office wiki.
The volunteer NDA is there, but even I don't know what the current
staff one is (I may just be missing a link, or having a bad search
experience, which given the team I work for would be a weird kind of
funny). The version I signed, way back when, both prohibited me from
disclosing confidential information and contained a non-defamation
clause around the organisation and its legal agents.

Now, I have no idea if this is still in the staff contract and NDA. I
sincerely hope it's not. But I hope people recognise that a clause
prohibiting staffers from saying a class of things about C-levels in
public, when most staff are not lawyers, is by definition going to
have a chilling effect on conversations about organisational direction
and staff performance. Sure, that class of things may in fact be
totally unacceptable and actually not things that we'd say...but how
the heck are we to know that?

So I support the idea, at a minimum, of publishing the current NDA and
contract form, and I would really like it if legal could bring all
staff NDAs up to spec.

One thing that was discussed early on that would also be fantastic;
the whistleblower policy currently protects people for reporting
*legal* violations to the *government*, and nothing else. Given that
California is an at-will state, broadening this would be...I was going
to say nice but really I mean "essential to any transparent
organisation that wants processes resistant to one bad apple".

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:13 AM, Jimmy Wales <jimmywales@wikia-inc.com> wrote:
> On 2/29/16 2:25 AM, Molly White wrote:
>> Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for how late this one is. When
>> I asked how you intend to speak with the Board of Trustees and with staff, I
>> did not mean what technical means you will use. It doesn't much matter to me
>> whether you speak with them in person, over email, over Hangouts, or what have
>> you.
>
> Ah, ok. :) I wondered why it mattered but thought I'd just answer
> plainly in case you were concerned that not doing it in person would
> fail to convey nuance, etc. (A valid concern, always.)
>
>> I am instead concerned with how (and if) you will be able to clearly
>> communicate your discussions between these two groups, since you are apparently
>> the one doing so.
>
> I'm not the only one. Alice is here in San Francisco, too.
>
>> Perhaps more concerning to me: do you intend to take steps to
>> make WMF staff comfortable speaking to you? If so, what are these steps? As
>> Oliver and others have made clear, staff have gone through what sounds like an
>> extended, traumatic period. I think the mass exodus of staff members makes that
>> very clear. Some have spoken of intimidation about speaking up with their
>> concerns. How will you ensure they don't feel the same around you?
>
> Sure. It's a potentially tough problem, and likely made worse by a lot
> of misconceptions being thrown around by people who have misrepresented
> my views. It's been claimed, for example, that I was the chief
> architect of a concept that staff shouldn't talk to board members -
> overcoming that misunderstanding is important to me.
>
> I am not involved at all in hiring and firing decisions, and don't
> intend to become so involved. I'm not becoming the interim ED nor the
> permanent ED. I've been here from the beginning and I am very
> passionate about Wikipedia and our mission. I have no specific axe to
> grind other than that one.
>
> My heart is heavy about what has happened here, and one of the things
> that I feel most heavy about - and that I've heard from staff - is that
> I lost touch with them. I remember driving to the November board
> meeting thinking "Well, this is going to be fairly routine and boring"
> because I had no idea what awaited me there - which was a train wreck of
> a meeting which left millions more questions than answers but which made
> it clear that something big was going on.

Well, to make my position as one (current, for a bit) staffer clear:
that *you* lost touch with things is not my worry. It's not the thing
I regret. This might simply be because I tend to treat you more as
"the guy who kicked things off and so has a board seat" rather than
"the carrier of the flame of What The Ethos Of Wikipedia Is". I rely
on the community trustees for that, because (1) the community ethos is
set by the community, not by what the community looked like in 2001
and (2) having a dependency on any one person is a terrible idea.

So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
the office. But nice is not sufficient.

Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
are they not listening to people?

While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
towards them.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironholds@gmail.com> wrote:

> So my concern is not that you lost touch with staff. I don't
> particularly care about any one person. My concern is that the *board*
> did. My concern is that when staff reached out the Board replied with
> a letter indicating they had full and unanimous confidence in our
> leadership. You indicating that you see a problem here and have some
> sympathy is nice; so is you visiting the office. So is Alice visiting
> the office. But nice is not sufficient.
>
> Guy Kawasaki, I believe, lives in the bay area (correct me if I'm
> wrong). Denny works a 10 minute walk from the office. Kelly's org is
> based in Mountain View. There are a whole host of trustees who could
> be making it into the office, experiencing the culture and the
> sentiment and the concerns directly. Why are they not coming in? Why
> are they not listening to people?
>


I must confess that this was my initial response as well.

My initial impression of Jimmy coming to SF was that this was a
self-selected PR exercise for Jimmy – borne out of a desire to be seen as
part of the solution of the problem, rather than part of its causes – and
not so much an effort by the Board to develop a better rapport with staff.

As you say, there are several board members who could comfortably pop in
for afternoon tea at the WMF office any day of the week.

Still, I hope the discussions with Jimmy and Alice in SF are fruitful.



> While I appreciate, deeply, both you and Alice coming in, I am unable
> to shake my concerns that the rest of the board making decisions
> informed not by their perspectives but by your recollection of your
> perspectives, is going to be tremendously limiting. We selected these
> people because we thought they had something to contribute we didn't
> already have: because their experiences would shape incoming
> information in new and interesting ways. So let them receive that
> information, and let them shape it. Let's have an informed board.
> Because trust isn't great, right now, and this last year should have
> made us steer *away* from processes with a small bus factor, not
> towards them.
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
confidence in our
leadership."

This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
made public.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
I have been sent a possible correction. When I had stated a "formal vote"
had taken place some are of the position that this was simple a straw poll.
Not sure if Geoff Brigham can clarify.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
2016-02-29 20:58 GMT+01:00 James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com>:

> Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> confidence in our
> leadership."
>
> This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
> November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
> made public.
>

Just a question, do you think transparency is about having those kind of
vote in
public minutes ? The comment you made worries me a lot.


> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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--
Pierre-Selim
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[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
No, I am not making a general statement about what should go in the
minutes. But in this case, the chair of the board (and others, I believe)
have misrepresented things. I mentioned the vote (irrespective of whether I
can prove it) as a piece of evidence that exists to prove the decision was
not unanimous.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> confidence in our
> leadership."
>
> This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED in
> November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet been
> made public.
>

Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:

"We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
leadership and to address these issues."

Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
rebuilding.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
Similarly the following remark was made by Patricio at the all staff
meeting in November:

*"I want all of you know that the Board unanimously agreed to support our
current leadership."*

I would ask for the sake of the staff and community that a speedy and clear
explanation of whatever vote occurred be made.

Seddon

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironholds@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> > confidence in our
> > leadership."
> >
> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
> in
> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
> been
> > made public.
> >
>
> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>
> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> leadership and to address these issues."
>
> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> rebuilding.
>
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>



--
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironholds@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
> > confidence in our
> > leadership."
> >
> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
> in
> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
> been
> > made public.
> >
>
> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>
> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
> leadership and to address these issues."
>
> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
> rebuilding.


If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
only thing they could have done.

The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).

Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
inevitable."

(I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
have helped *anyone* in November)

Regards,

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:23 PM, Chris Keating
<chriskeatingwiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Oliver Keyes <ironholds@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM, James Heilman <jmh649@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Regarding to Oliver's comment: "My concern is that when staff reached out
>> > the Board replied with a letter indicating they had full and unanimous
>> > confidence in our
>> > leadership."
>> >
>> > This statement is not really true. We had a formal vote regarding the ED
>> in
>> > November and it was not unanimous. The vote unfortunately has not yet
>> been
>> > made public.
>> >
>>
>> Very well, let me quote directly from the email sent to staff by
>> Patricio Lorente in his role as Chair of the Board:
>>
>> "We are working with Lila to put together a plan to address these
>> issues. We are confident that she has the capability and the
>> commitment needed for this challenging time, and we know that, at the
>> present time, she is listening carefully to the Board, to you, and to
>> the community. **To that end, the Board remains unanimously committed in
>> our support of Lila in her role** and in her efforts to adapt her
>> leadership and to address these issues."
>>
>> Asterisks mine. If your commitment and straw poll wasn't unanimous
>> your chair lied to staff, and that's not a great opening to our
>> rebuilding.
>
>
> If the Board had decided, formally or informally, not to sack Lila in their
> November meeting then frankly "unanimous commitment to support her" is the
> only thing they could have done.
>
> The only course of action open to a Trustee who felt they *could not*
> support Lila continuing, if there was no majority to sack her right away,
> would have been to resign themselves (which none of them did).
>
> Doubtless many of them used "support" in the meaning of "do whatever is in
> their power to help improve Lila's performance and reduce stress on the
> staff, while keeping a very close eye to see whether their original
> instinct was in fact correct and whether Lila's departure was in fact
> inevitable."
>
> (I also fail to see how the knowledge that the WMF Board retained
> confidence in the ED's abilities by a 5-4 or 7-2 or whatever vote would
> have helped *anyone* in November)
>

Well, for me at least it would have given the impression that there
was actually support and genuine empathy and understanding of the
issues and concerns at the board's end. Because what "unanimous"
achieved - beyond, as we're now discovering, apparently not being
true, or at least being very economical with the truth - was conveying
the message that the board was not particularly worried. That the
efforts staff had made to surface issues, at risk to their own neck,
had not been convincing, and that we were essentially on our own when
it came to working out the problems.

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