Wikimania 2007: “Wikimedia Board Plenary Session”

Discussion notes: “Wikimedia Board Plenary Session”
Present: Frieda, Erik Moller, Jimmy Wales, Florence, Kat Walsh, Jean-Bart.

Normally 7 board members, 4 elected and 3 appointed.
Florence / Anthere joined in 2002 on EN and FR. Joined board in 2004. Chairperson.
Kat – Law student, US based, free culture.
Erik – from Berlin, Germany. Was journalist & writer. Concerned about managing potential of volunteers to do what they think is necessary. Most tech-focussed member.
Frieda – Italian, joined 2002, in 2005 was one the founders of the Italian Wikimedia chapter. Was elected a few weeks ago.

Q: Are you happy with the mix of non-elected and elected board members?
A: Most happy with having some appointed people. Erik would prefer all members to be elected.

Q: Print on demand. Any more details? Will we be able to get PDFs for free?
A: Want to make available to other wiki installations. Don’t want to get into specific details, want to avoid a vapor-ware situation. Working with a German company for this. [More info and some source code was released recently, several weeks after this session].

Q: How should people address the board? How do people communicate with the board?
A: “I dunno.” :-) Join the mailing lists, join the local chapters. Need the community members to push things to make them happen, because the board gets so overloaded. There are many things they would like to do, but they are only 7 people. Post-script: Contact: Cary Bass: User name: Bastique, has been hired by the foundation to be the volunteer co-ordinator.

Q: What do you think are some of the highest priority items?

  • Frieda: More communication.
  • Erik: Organising volunteers and co-ordination volunteers.
  • Jimmy: Building infrastructure of the organisation, organisational structure, to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Kat: Organisational structure, less crises.
  • Jean-Bart: Lowering the barriers to entry.
  • Ant/Florence: Usability, explaining our values.