Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-05-30/Foundation official positions

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Wikimedia names seven to official positions

By Michael Snow, 30 May 2005

The growth of Wikipedia and the other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation has led to several members of the community being given responsibilities and formal recognition, in order to help the Board of Trustees better manage the affairs of the organization.

Last Thursday, Wikimedia Foundation President Jimmy Wales announced the appointment of seven people to official positions in the Foundation. They include:

Wales said the appointments are "a reflection of the work these people are already doing in these areas". The first four are all MediaWiki developers, for example, and Wool has been spearheading the Foundation's initial efforts in applying for grants.

Most of the positions are newly created, except for that of Developer Liaison, which was previously filled by Tim Starling (see archived story). Wales also confirmed that Daniel Mayer would continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer. All of the positions remain volunteer (although Vibber is employed by the Foundation for other duties).

Additional possible positions

Also under consideration was the possibility of making appointments to handle outside partnerships (Möller had previously been a "Content Partnership Coordinator"), translation efforts, and the role of Quarto editor (which sj has been handling). However, no official positions were created in those areas for the time being.

Christopher Mahan suggested that coordinators were also needed for mediation, mentoring, and government relations. Sj, who had been advocating the formation of "special interest groups" instead of or in addition to having official titles, agreed that government relations needed to be considered. Although the Foundation's ability to pursue political activity is limited (due to its nonprofit status and commitment to the neutral point of view policy), sj pointed out that most governments are involved in education and maintain libraries and archives. Reaching out to these institutions, which have goals similar to Wikimedia projects, would be of considerable interest to the Foundation.

While the notion of special interest groups was not formalized, Wales did express his support for the idea and encouraged people to develop them. As an example of this at work, Chief Research Officer Möller quickly began organizing a research team to study project needs and bridge the gap between developers, the community, and outside researchers.

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