<CPOV> RS: Wikimedia evolution in terms of governance and thecreation of a Foundation (Fuster, Mayo)
Mayo.Fuster at EUI.eu
Thu Mar 11 14:14:06 CET 2010
Thank you Gregor and Nate for raising attention to my post and for your suggestions.
I think Alex Roshuk and Larry Sanger played an important role, however, there is a reason to exclude mentioning them, the same reason to exclude mentioning Brion Vibber, Angela Beesley, Florence Nibart-Devouard, Sue Garner, Erik Möller, Samuel Klein, and a very long etc of people who had a role in the direction of the Foundation (furthermore considering not only in the early stages but the whole process until today). The only person I did mentioned is Jimmy Wales, certainly, from this perspective I could ignore who he is, too.
My goal is not to do an account of the important people, but to analyse governance stages in the process from a cross-temporal perspective (since its creation until today) and how this is connected or not to the growth of the community. That is: how scale contribute to shape governance over time and looking at the same time how governance contribute to scaling. I found this exercise useful. Would you suggest other stages that I did not mention? Would you add other important reasons to explain those governance changes over time?. It is also en-lighting how for some cases similar moves of stages had been found in the process of creation of Foundation around FLOSS projects (see the work of O'Mahony on this). The same can not be said to the evolving of the governance acrooss time of other collective process (such as the Internatinal Council in relation to the World Social Forum).
Other thing is to do an account of the people who had a role on the process (and more interesting by trying to understand the origens and base of their personal visions). Certainly, there is not a consensus on this on Wikipedia (which I think it is quiet common in collective process) and you can find very different accounts on the who (particularly concerning the role of Sanger).
However, I would be curious to further chat on your suggestions during the CPOV event.
Thank you also Nate for your comments.
>What I would like to ask Mayo, however, is on the topic of the Spanish Fork
> (SF) as I am writing about software forking at the moment. I get the
>impression you consider the SF a highly significant moment in Wikipedia's
>history - a key event in which the project is both transformed and becomes
>clear about its new direction. Is this indeed what you think, and if so could
>you comment a little more?... (I would also love to hear what everyone else
>thinks or has written about the SF).
I consider the Spanish Fork played a role in the creation of the Foundation. But it was not the only element, but in combination to other aspects: the Spanish Fork and the voices in favour of the non-profit character of the activity and the trust of the community as organizational form, the uncertainty of the governance structure, and the increase of costs (such as the one you mentioned on salaries of Sanger and other employees, or the servers) linked to the growing popularity and participation. In sum, it seems to be important, but in conjunction to other aspects that all together determine the creation of the Foundation.
Nate you mention you are looking to FLOSS forking, I would be very happy if you could comment (or other people on the e-list) on this and particularly how the forking relates to scale. Such as: is forking less of an option when the community growth? I think the risk of forking is a source of power of online platforms participants in front of platforms providers, however as the community scale (for several types of reasons) the possibility of forking become more complex. Any input on this would be much appreciated.
«·´¨*·¸¸« Mayo Fuster Morell ».¸.·*¨`·»
Research Digital Commons Governance: http://www.onlinecreation.info
European University Institute - Phd Candidate
School of information Berkeley Visiting researcher
Phone Italy: 0039-3345440747 or 0039-0558409982
Phone Spanish State: 0034-648877748
E-mail: mayo.fuster at eui.eu
De: cpov-bounces at listcultures.org en nom de nathaniel tkacz
Enviat el: dl. 08/03/2010 06:31
Per a: Gregory Kohs
A/c: cpov at listcultures.org
Tema: Re: <CPOV> Wikimedia evolution in terms of governance and thecreation of a Foundation (Fuster, Mayo)
Hi Mayo and Gregory,
I agree with Gregory that it was strange not to hear anything of these
characters. I try to avoid the kinds of esoteric name dropping competitions
that go in FLOSS discussions ("if you don't know the importance of this
character, or the significance of this or that project, then..." etc.), but
on the question of early governance I would think that Sanger's role in
particular would be crucial.
What I would like to ask Mayo, however, is on the topic of the Spanish Fork
(SF) as I am writing about software forking at the moment. I get the
impression you consider the SF a highly significant moment in Wikipedia's
history - a key event in which the project is both transformed and becomes
clear about its new direction. Is this indeed what you think, and if so
could you comment a little more?... (I would also love to hear what everyone
else thinks or has written about the SF).
As an aside, the SF is also interesting because it was centrally about
thinking how to cover Sanger's and other employees' salary, or at least that
is how the question of advertising was framed at the time. The actual online
exchange that took place is very interesting (I'm using it in my writings)
and is quite revealing on questions of power, authority and other juicy
stuff. Might be interesting for Mayo because the end of Sanger, the SF and
the emergence of the Foundation are connected in interesting ways.
Not being a Wikipedian or involved in these histories personally my
knowledge is pretty sketchy, but if there are some veterans from these
events lurking on this list it would be good to read some accounts closer to
On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 12:39 AM, Gregory Kohs <thekohser at gmail.com> wrote:
> Mayo, I'm having a difficult time with your thesis, because you fail
> to even mention once either Dr. Larry Sanger or attorney Alex Roshuk.
> Are you familiar with the work of these gentlemen between the years
> 2000 and about 2004, as it related to Wikipedia and Wikimedia
> Foundation genesis? If so, was there a reason you deliberately
> excluded mention of them? If not, then I suggest you familiarize
> yourself with their work and probably reconfigure your essay to
> include their perspectives.
> Gregory Kohs
> Cell: 302.463.1354
> Cpov_listcultures.org mailing list
> Cpov_listcultures.org at p10.alfaservers.com
Current project: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/about-2/
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