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The Longest Now

My Wikimedia platform
Thursday July 30th 2009, 6:34 am
Filed under: chain-gang,international,popular demand,wikipedia

I’ve organized my thoughts about being a good Board member in my platform for the Wikimedia Board.

The most common questions I have heard since this year’s elections began are, what does the Foundation do? and what is the Board of Trustees for? I posted answers to these questions and a few more.

People also ask, how do I qualify to vote? To be eligible to vote,

  • You must have 600 edits as of June 1, and 50 within the past 6 months.
  • You may need to create a Unified Login to count edits on more than one project; or to vote from your main wiki.
  • If you are not eligible, you can still encourage fellow Wikimedians to vote, or leave suggestions for future elections

I am more intent on this year’s election than I have been in any year past – in part because the Board’s role has been shifting away from one that actively engages and challenges the community, something valuable Agnela and Anthere brought to the Board that I miss.  I am deeply concerned by the lack of community growth for the past two years, and the complete stagnation of new project development (despite the growth of new independent educational free knowledge projects that requested Wikimedia hosting). And I was just talking to my friend Bibhusan Bista, who said that there is definite interest in the Foundation in Nepal, and in contributing to Wikipedia’s spirit of openness; but of course few editors there feel they can engage in related discussions (and none, for instance, would be eligible to vote).

So I have two goals for my campaign beyond getting elected: to inspire people to vote and remind them why a good foundation matters, and to encourage them to raise community priorities and requests of the foundation, while attention is on governance over the next two weeks (and while you can get an immediate response from at least three future Board members, something often hard to come by).

My request to you, if you appreciate Wikipedia and want to see it thrive, whether or not you have the edit count needed to vote: please leave suggestions about how Wikimedia should grow, blog about the election and your reasons for caring about it, and help support the election in smaller languages and projects.

I love your platform because you have one. You want to grow our communities and their coherence and I salute your for it. My issue is that before you can reach out, the necessary infrastructure is to be there and its maintenance needs prio rity.

As it is several languages like Lingala do not even have basic support; you cannot edit it. There are many known bugs in the right to left support, there was a Google Summer of Code project and none of the results were implemented..

There are people who consider addressing our systemic bias as unimportant and consequently there is no support for the “other” languages. Join in me in asking for a breakdown in the investment on projects and languages, Join me in asking for what is done to support MediaWiki itself. In this way new projects can take off on their own when the WMF does not provide a home.

Join me as a board member in the new session

Comment by GerardM 07.30.09 @ 2:44 am

As One Laptop per Child (OLPC) sysadmin I was a colleague and co-worker of SJ’s at during 2008. He is one of the most brilliant and well-read people I have ever met. He is also a person of tolerance, good humor, and a subtle and perceptive strategist and thinker. SJ is deeply committed to wikipedia and to the free software community. As a fellow wikipedian (user:scanlyze) I am very happy to endorse his candidacy for the Wikimedia Board.

Comment by Henry Edward Hardy 08.05.09 @ 3:03 pm

sj is the real deal.

Comment by bruck 08.08.09 @ 12:11 am

Sj, is one of the most curious and bright people I’ve ever met, while at OLPC he did and tremendous work both coordinating and developing communication channels with FLOSS communities around the world.

This coordination has led to the establishment of numerous groups and people interested in free knowledge.

Although I’m not Wikipedian i can recommend him to the job!

Comment by RafaelOrtiz 08.10.09 @ 3:49 pm

Bad Behavior has blocked 216 access attempts in the last 7 days.