WikiConference UK 2012/Elections/Questions/Katie Chan
From Wikimedia UK
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- I'm a member of the committee of my local branch of Association of Accounting Technicians. I have a various time attended events of Lincoln Chinese Community Association, Humberside Chinese Association, and recently a couple of Lincoln Alternative LGBT Network meetings. In the past, I have also been member of and or active in various sport, political, religious, ethnic, educational, scientific and language groups, clubs or charities.
- I have long been interested in the UK Wikimedia community, having been one of a number who submitted a request for membership of WMUKv1 in a hope of getting things moving along. After the announcement of the winding up of Wiki Educational Resources Ltd., I decided my knowledge, skills, experience and enthusiasm would be useful towards establishing of the new chapter and hence stood for the initial board. Being once again in a position to contribute to the community, I have decided to once again stand for the board of Wikimedia UK.
- Unfortunately, there are a number of difficulties facing Wikiversity. For any collaborative project to succeed requires sufficient number of participants in terms of both providers and users. To achieve its goals, better technical infrastructure would need to be in place. For example, websites like Coursera and Udacity have show how things can be done differently while delivering multimedia learning courses with some form of automated assessment to allow a student in checking their understanding of the material. It should be noted that while supporting and utilising projects of Wikimedia Foundation to enable access of open content is very much within the objects of Wikimedia UK, it is not the objects of the charity to only use WMF projects. If a better platform to deliver open educational resources is available, then it would be the duties of board to consider utilising it.
- As stated in my candidate statement, it is important that not only do we expand on the various projects we do, but to diversify to the rest of the United Kingdom. When we are diversified throughout the country, we would be able to fulfil our goals of promoting and supporting the widest possible public access to, use of and contribution to open content. On a similar point to diversifying geographically, it is important for any successful organisation whether charitable or profit making not to rely too heavily on a single stream of income. As such, it is important for Wikimedia UK to investigate possible alternative income streams so that we are less reliant on the WMF annual fundraiser. Some avenue of potential income would only arise when the organisation public profile raises sufficiently. A good high public profile would also enable us to better promote our goals.
- Wikimedia UK is ethnically and legally bound to provide accurate and non-misleading information to such bodies. I actually would hope and believe that we do not just provide accurate and truthful information when required but do so in all circumstances. Having said that, unlike on projects like Wikipedia, Wikinews etc. Wikimedia UK are not bound to provide a neutral point of view when submitting such information. It is inevitable and fully expected that any information submitted would be in line with the submitting organisation's interest and position.
- As stated in my answer to Q5, Wikimedia UK is required not to mislead such bodies. If it subsequently comes to light that any information submitted are materially inaccurate or incomplete as to possibly mislead, then Wikimedia UK would be bound to correct that error as soon as possible.
- I have read and understand the legal requirements and obligations of being a charity trustee available on the Charity Commission website. In addition, as a former trustee of a Scottish charity of 25,000 student members, I had received training in the duties and obligations of being a charity trustee. (The legislation covering English & Welsh charities and that covering Scottish charities only differ slightly.) If elected, I would look forward to any refresher and or additional trainings available.
- As I stated in my candidate statement, we need to aim for increase participation from under-represented groups and communities. By that I don't mean just the typical classification of say age or gender, but also geographically. While assisting with the cost of travel and if appropriate accommodation to events for members helps, it is also important for us to diversify the location of our events to cover the entire United Kingdom and not just mainly southern England. This would allow potential volunteers who might not be able to give up large amount of their time or doesn't feel comfortable travelling large distances to still participate in a variety of events.
- From the very start, Wikimedia UK have been operated on the principle of openness, transparency and the involvement of the community in its activities, running and decision making process. It is important for every trustee to share this ethos and continue to ensure Wikimedia UK are operated on these principles.
- While having a background in Wikimedia projects and hence an understanding of our ethos and beliefs is certainly a desirable quality, it can and should only ever be an additional factor in favour of a candidate for most of the positions that we recruit. I believe recruitments should be open, fair and well publicised. This way, we can make sure we are able to select the best candidate possible and not just the best candidate from within the Wikimedia community.
- Wikimedia UK as an organisation is not in a position to directly influence or enforce Wikimedia Foundation projects policies. What Wikimedia UK can do is to make sure attendees to any Wikimedia UK staff or volunteers run training events are made aware of the Foundation and projects policies, and taught to understand and follow these policies from the start.
- My personal view is that a well designed and tailored filter that is optional not just to the user but to each project could be a good addition. Alternatively, Wikimedia could also consider some form of content labelling on individual pages which would assist third party content-control software to better filter out potentially undesirable material.
- Parents, guardians, mentors and teachers has a responsibility to teach children how to use the internet safely and responsibly, not just any particular website. They also have a responsibility to supervise such use to the extent possible. This supervision include but are not limited to physical supervision, having an acceptable use policy in place that users understand and agreed to before use and the installation of content-control software if deemed appropriate. While the potential risk and possible negative effect of a child being able to access some age inappropriate material cannot be overlooked, it is also important not to fixate on the issue given the size of projects such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and ignore the general educational benefit of these projects.
- I do agree with the board resolution. For the answer to the second part of the question, please see my answer to Question 11.
- I would certainly agree in general that a high turnout is a good thing in elections. It reflects an engaged electorate (membership). An engaged membership enhances accountability and transparency. In an organisation such as ours, it will also enhance the number of volunteers taking part in activities. For Wikimedia Foundation board election, turnout was 10-15% in 2008. If the number of eligible accounts stayed at roughly the same level, turnout were consistent in 2009 and 2011. Not withstanding our first AGM where we had a 96% turnout which I would put down to the small yet dedicated number of members we had and the fact that we were then a newly re-founded chapter, our turnout at the last two AGM have both been roughly 20%. This is higher than with the Wikimedia Foundation board election, but of course still a lot lower than one may wish for. If you have any suggestion as to how the chapter could improve turnout, I am sure it would be welcomed.