Meetings/October 22, 2004

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A meeting was attended by Jimmy Wales, Florence Devouard (Anthere), and Angela Beesley, on IRC on 22 October 2004 to discuss adjustments to the sections of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws concerning membership.

Members v. eligible voters

  • It was proposed that the word "member" be changed to "eligible voter" in the bylaws. Although this is fine grammatically, it puts too much emphasis on voting. This was rejected, and an alternative is suggested below.

Allowing membership to be opt-in

Current bylaws:

  • This membership shall consist of all persons interested in supporting the activities of the Foundation who have contributed under a user name to any Wikimedia project prior to the election ballot request deadline. The only other qualification for membership shall be the creation of a user account on some Wikimedia project.

Accepted rewording:

  • This membership shall be open to all persons interested in supporting the activities of the foundation who have contributed under a user name to any Wikimedia project prior to the election ballot request deadline. The board may set minimum contribution requirements for the purpose of eliminating fraudulent votes.

Separate contributing and voluntary roles

  • The benefit of separate memberships is that those editing can pay less than the others.
  • Non-editing memberships allows us to invite people who are not part of the community of editors to be able to influence us by being members, creating a community of readers or other supporters.
  • Separate voting bases provide additional safety in terms of sockpuppet voting.

Fees

  • A fee of $36 for non-editors and a minimum $12 for editors will be required to become a "contributing active member".
  • The fee has the advantage of being divisible by 12 and being a round number in the equivalent Euros (30/10)
  • Anthere notes that fees for the French and German chapters will be higher than this.

Other changes to bylaws

The following changes were agreed upon:

  • Contributing membership is not limited to editors only.
  • A volunteer member is not required to complete or sign and send any form to the Foundation.
  • All contributors are eligible to become members
  • The way to become a member is to turn up to vote or to opt-in
  • You have the option of later opting out

Addition to bylaws

The following addition was approved to clarify the roles of board members:

  • All board members shall attempt to listen to and represent the broad goals of the project and all interested parties to the best of their ability and judgment.

Other

  • Anthere requests that opt-in buttons be made highly visible.
  • Angela notes that an opt-in button might need to wait for single-sign on before being implemented.
  • Titles such as "volunteer representative" and "contributing representative" may be re-assessed in future.