Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Fri Mar 31 05:06:23 BST 2006

SteveC wrote:

> > Alfred Nobel, Bill Gates, and Jimbo Wales have all gone this way.
> Um... The last one is slightly more complex, I thought they had members
> voted on by the community - that's what I was aiming for.

No, even Lukashenko's Belarus has a better voting procedure than 
Wikipedia.  There is no registered membership in Wikipedia, no 
checks that the voters are real people.  You can be voted down by 
a dozen sock puppets. And nobody is going to vote Jimbo out of his 
chairmanship. Jimbo's choice of the foundation model was very 
controversial among the German Wikipedia community, and the German 
Wikimedia chapter was thus organized as a membership association 
(eingetragene Verein) instead.

As for the comment (by someone else) that everything is fine now, 
I disagree.  Without having met you, Steve, I estimate that your 
genius is 80% technical innovator and 20% organizer.  For the best 
of OSM, others should take care of the administration and you 
should be allowed to keep your mind on the technical, visionary, 
and innovative parts.

Your story is quite different from Jimbo's.  He's an economist who 
made his fortune as an options and future trader in Chicago in the 
early 1990s, then decided to start a new career in the Internet 
new economy.  But he's not a programmer, he has always surrounded 
himself with other people to do that.  For some years he operated 
the portal Bomis.com, which never was anything good, and as a side 
activity started Nupedia and later, by fluke, Wikipedia.  
Chairing the Wikimedia Foundation is his 3rd career, perhaps 
similar to Vint Cerf's role in ISOC.

OSM is a fine project now and in the next 2 or 3 years.  But where 
is it 5 or 10 years from now?  Is the idea durable enough for a 
long-lasting organization?  Or should we widen the scope or join 
more people to get a broader, longer-lasting platform?  What other 
groups, e.g. Linux users grops, are there in London?  Is there a 
British Wikipedia chapter yet?  Judging from 
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK it almost seems so.
Does anybody here have any connection to these people?

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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