This page is for discussing the contents of Wiki Community/Board of Trustees.

Proposal: Trustees speak for the community. They are responsible for the care of the content over time; not from an editing standpoint, but a data storage and management one. When other communities or admins interact with the community for major decisions, the trustees represent the community.

Potentially this might be the group to appoint Admins, but I'm not sure about that. I'm thinking that Davis Wiki needs a voice again to be able to communicate the needs of the community to both server hosts and software developers.

Nominations: CovertProfessor DonShor HanKim TomGarberson

Who should not be: JasonAller JabberWokky non-Davisites Wiki Spot board members or ex-board members Admins


My personal feeling (and I've mentioned elsewhere, but it likely fell through the cracks) is that a more organized core group for DavisWiki would be beneficial but that this proposal is probably too formal sounding. I'd suggest regular group meetings in person — maybe once a month — of contributors and then see if something progresses naturally from that. —PhilipNeustrom


I like the idea of something (incidentally, I'm honored to be included). I don't have any particular opinion on formal vs. informal at the moment, but I think there's merit to the notion that there hasn't been a lot of communication between the Davis part of Davis Wiki and, well, the Wiki part of it. If that can be addressed through having a periodic meeting of everyone interested to talk things over, great. If it needs something a bit more formal, that's fine, too. Mostly, I'd like to see what people think of an idea along these general lines—whether something is necessary, what that something is, and how to go about doing it. —TomGarberson


I agree with this but there are non-Davis people besides myself that post. Because the Wiki is not limited to only Davis residents, I would request that one non-Davis resident be brought on board just to offer a separate view. While that person may not make meetings, input could be given by email or on a page here. I'm not even suggesting it be myself, but I think it's a good idea. —PeteB

I was thinking it could be something as simple as the contributor meetings you folks have in Rochester. Not to the exclusion of anyone, but helps build a stronger, more active core group that feels responsibility for steering the project, informally discussing / resolving issues in person and representing the wiki to media, etc. —PhilipNeustrom

Thx Phil—that has been a very productive situation we've used with RocWiki. —PeteB

Davis Wiki exists to serve the Davis community. People who are not or have never been a member of the Davis community do not need to be represented. —WilliamLewis

With all due respect, then William- maybe the Wikispot server isn't the best place because it is PUBLIC and not-restricted in any manner. If you want it to be so restrictive all non-Davis users should be booted and not allowed to post. RocWiki is meant only for residents of Rochester but we allow ANYONE to help make decisions about the Wiki and are fully invited to any meetings or to possibly become an admin. PeteB

  • Just as a minor point, Wiki Spot hosts several wikis that are private and/or closed. The criteria is that they are a community, not that they be open. ⁓ʝ⍵
  • I guess I don't fully understand your involvement in the Davis Wiki, PB. Pretty much everyone else either lives here now or has lived her before and so retains an interest in the Davis community itself. I'm not trying to be exclusionary — I genuinely don't understand your interest. Speaking personally, for example, I found the wiki to be a great resource for finding my way around when I moved here, and I wanted to give back to that resource. On a more selfish note, I get to improve pages that I will refer back to later. —cp
    • CP-I am somewhat considering moving to Davis. —PeteB
      • Ah, that makes more sense to me now. Just keep in mind that not everyone in Davis is as congenial as we wiki editors. :-) —cp
        • Thx CP—I do appreciate it. Not even settled on Davis as our destination but it's one of 4 areas we're looking at. —PeteB

Did I say anything about this stuff being restricted? No. I just said that DavisWiki doesn't need to cater to anybody except the Davis community. And I say this as someone who is no longer a member of the Davis community. —WilliamLewis


I am also honored to be mentioned as a possible nominee and interested in the idea, but I think I need more information about what the scope and purpose of the group is. Perhaps some examples of past issues where such a group would have been beneficial and potential future issues would help me see what the proposal is getting at. —CovertProfessor

  • A simple single example would be to lobby for improvements to the Events Board. —JasonAller
    • Ok, thanks. I could still use a bit more. You seem to be seeking a group that represents various community viewpoints — on your list, I see a professor, a student, a professional, and a business owner, and there are surely others that could be added. But I am still not sure what the community has to say to the server hosts and software developers; sure, the events board needs work, but anyone can see that, and it's partly (mainly?) a technical issue. Just to be clear, I am not saying your proposal lacks merit. I'm just still not sure what a community b of t would contribute, although of course in principle it sounds like a good idea. Again, I think more examples would help me see what you're aiming at. —CovertProfessor

Just playing devils advocate here... This sort of sounds like it is to be a closed group. Who's selecting the BOT? I know part of the intent was not to be exclusive, but would a volunteer format would be more inclusive? Could the same effect be met by planning more wikibbqs? Open wikibbq's? Just want to throw this out there. JeffTolentino

  • Would it be more fair to have a wiki-submitted formal list of nominations submitted and then a vote? —PeteB
    • Possilbly, but it still seems to create an exclusive set. I guess it just seems more fair to let people represent thier own voices in the community, rather than vote for someone else to do it for us. I'm all for having people engaged in the direction of DavisWiki, but I kind of think those who want to be engaged do that already. JeffTolentino

Having "members" and such bugs me. Anyone who has free time and the inclination should be able to get involved without being elected and such. Wiki folk getting together IRL to discuss wiki issues and form consensus sounds just fine without elections. —WilliamLewis

  • Agree. Community-owned content shouldn't be subjected to popularity contests for representation. —ScottMeehleib

After some offline discussions, I've come to realize that there is no longer anyone from Davis who represents the interests of the Davis Wiki itself (something I hadn't really realized before), and I think it's important that the Davis community has a board to represent the wiki that it has worked so hard to build. So, I am in favor of creating a Board of Trustees. I think it needs to be reasonably formal so that it can be the official voice of the Davis community's wiki, yet flexible enough so that new trustees can be added without too much fanfare. —CovertProfessor

  • Why the need for formality? -SM
    • So that there is someone to speak for the Davis Wiki. Right now, there are our individual voices to speak for the Davis Wiki, but no organization or group that does. At least that is my understanding. Don't you think that's a little strange? Think about the new wikis that are being formed. They all are run by someone. Who runs us? Yes, editing decisions are collaborative and collective, by all the editors who choose to contribute, and that should stay the same. But the Wiki itself needs representation, as it used to have (again, based on my understanding of things). —cp
      • I think part of this wiki's strength is that it isn't run by anyone. Having said that, it's fine with me if a group is formed. I just don't know know why it can't be based on volunteers. Or maybe you don't mind if it's based off of volunteers? I just wasn't sure what you meant by "formal", and I took it to mean that you are in favor of elections. If ever, I think that's bad for the wiki because, as editing members of the community, we should all have the right to represent it because the content belongs to all of us. —ScottMeehleib
        • I don't yet have a view on the best way to form a Board — I need to hear more input on that topic. It seems possible to me that it could be all-volunteer, although perhaps with criteria (some possible criteria: lives in Davis or surrounding area, has edited for a certain length of time or has certain # of edits). But the point is that the Board becomes the official voice of the wiki. —cp
          • Okay. Well, if ever, I just don't want to put people off, and my concern is that strict criteria would do that. For example, one of the cool things about the wiki-tabling of the past is that essentially anybody can go down and help out at the farmer's market. In effect, just by sitting at the table, a person is representing the spirit of the Davis Wiki, even if they've only used it a few times and thought it was cool. There is no difference whether they've done 1 edit or 5000 edits. Just by showing up it shows that they care. —ScottMeehleib
            • And that wouldn't change. Again, nor would the day to day operating of the Wiki. But Jason's suggestions for the board are software-oriented (although perhaps there are other issues that the board might take up?). While of course a new person might have input into the software, someone really needs to have been around for awhile to know what the software can and can't do, and, more importantly, what works and doesn't work for us as a community. Thus, my suggestion (and it is only a suggestion — I'm trying to figure this all out myself) that a person have a certain amount of experience editing the wiki. —CovertProfessor
              • Regardless of the actualities, my main concern is that it would put some people off. There are certain implications when one uses words such as "trustees" and "representatives." Maybe there could be a better word for the group that doesn't sound so exclusive. Like I said, I really don't mind. Just worried about possible, unintended effects. -SM
      • What do you mean by "as it used to have"? —JT
        • Wiki Bureaucracy/Statement of organization
          • Some background: the original rationale behind creating the that group was we wanted to open a bank account. The bank told us we needed bylaws, so we wrote something. The bylaws were never really finished. As soon as we started having regular meetings of the pseudo-legal group we decided that incorporating as a legal entity made sense, but that if we were going to go through the trouble it would be more beneficial to broaden our mission to be multi-community, hence the Wiki Spot organization name. The DavisWiki is in a very different position now — it exists as a legal entity, but without much in-person coordination in Davis. —PhilipNeustrom
          • I was just about to move that link to the top of the page. If that were direction, it changes the discussion a little. Looking through the bylaws, it looked like there would be admin privilages. (edit: maybe that's just the board of directors.)
            • I don't think the bylaws were ever really used or even finished. They were kind of a very hazy rough draft for what became Wiki Spot. -jw
              • What is more interesting to me is that discussion that went on at Wiki Bureaucracy/Bylaws/Talk. Some of those reasons are no longer relevant, but some still are, or may have even become more relevant now. I recommend that everyone take a look. —cp
  • I think it's best to look at the intended outcome and effects. Right now there is an organization that owns and operates the project — the Wiki Spot 501(c)3 non-profit organization. What's lacking isn't legal standing, but rather coordinated meeting and planning about the project by folks in Davis. So that seems like the most important bit — encouraging people to get together, talk about the project, discuss collaborations, problem users, plan, etc. After enough regular meetings, I think formality (or representative governance), if warranted, will arise in a more natural way. Planning in a top-down fashion doesn't seem smart. Maybe "DavisWiki contributor meetings" along the lines of what RocWiki has, as a start. —PhilipNeustrom

If ever this hypothetical group is limited to editors who meet certain criteria, I think a name change is in order. Maybe something like "Software Improvement and Communications Group"?


Ok, that is a bit more clear. I agree with scott, the "Board of Trustees" is an overly formal term. Regular meetups sound like a good idea though. Could this just be open to everyone? —JT

  • In my opinion also, it should be open to everyone, just because I sort of doubt that anyone without significant wiki experience would show up regularly anyway. We live in a fairly small town; not exactly New York City guys. Seriously, we have a hard enough time getting people to do tabling, just imagine if actual knowledge was required. —ScottMeehleib
    • This is my other concern with forming something that sounds formal form the outset — it sounds like work to get involved. If the goal is to encourage a stronger, more active core group to drive the project then you want to get as many interested people from the community at large to participate. —PhilipNeustrom

Frankly, I assumed that anything resembling "board of trustees" meetings would be open to everyone, and that it would just be the responsibility of whoever was on the board (or whatever) to effectuate whatever gets decided. How about a group of "Davis Wiki Lobbyists"? :) —TomGarberson


It occurs to me that the creation of this page has resulted in Davis Wiki getting more attention from localwiki representatives than we've seen in a while. —JasonAller

  • LOL. True.
    • And it's the most I've seen of Philip in months. —A localwiki representative who edits here frequently
    • Ditto. —Ditto
      • I haven't been actively editing DavisWiki for a little while now due largely (ironically) to how much work is on my plate with the localwiki project. It sucks :( I'm on #daviswiki, #localwiki IRC 24/7 and I (almost always, though nobody's perfect) respond to emails. —PhilipNeustrom
        • I've got to imagine that having communication with a local representative, either a group or individual, from each wiki is more effective than fielding interruptions from your coding from many people from the same wiki who either ask the same questions over and over, or ask for conflicting features because their community hasn't reached consensus. —JasonAller
          • Yup, I agree completely. —PhilipNeustrom
            • I had the same thought earlier in the afternoon. With all the changes in the last year, (Localwiki development, etc), that's easy to understand. — JT

Hi Daubert

  • Hey Daubert. We miss you! -SM

I agree with all of the foregoing and am happy to help in any way I can. —DonShor

Proposal II

In the spirit of the original proposal, let us form a group, tentatively named "Davis Wiki Interest Group" (DWIG), composed of all who are willing to serve, with the particular goal of representing the Davis community's interest in the Davis Wiki. Let us meet once per month.

Below, please discuss whether we ought to meet face-to-face or virtually (e.g., on the DavisWiki irc channel), the former being better for obvious reasons, the latter allowing participation by those who want to remain anonymous and/or want to participate from afar.

Discuss, or, if you're so inclined, vote "yay" or "nay".

Yay, IRL meetup. —Someone who can't come to it, anyway

Yay —PeteB


Incidentally, this is the kind of area where I'm hoping people can get together and discuss Davis's interests. I understand it's basically just a list of some ideas, not a feature that's already being coded or anything. It's the sort of area where having some sort of voice representing Davis's interests would be useful as the process continues, be that voice formal or informal. The problem with avoiding anything formal is exactly what we've seen over the past three weeks: nothing actually happens. No one's responsible for anything, so it all stays abstract. —TomGarberson

  • Agreed. As a community, we have particular needs. We have many longstanding residents, small businesses, students who may only be here for a few years — these conditions create particular challenges for us in trying to communicate. We need software that will serve our particular needs, which might be very different from what, e.g., New York City needs. And we need people to step up and commit to giving their input. I am willing to do so. —CovertProfessor
    • I spoke with Philip a bit about some ways to engage the community. It was a good conversation. I'd still like to have some kinda get-together to talk about Davis-specific interests, and I'm sure it'll benefit everyone to pass those on. —tg