WikiConference UK 2012/Elections/Questions/Thomas Nicols
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I could delay indefinitly whilst composing the perfect response to each question so forgive me if I respond to these questions with an innitial response then come back and add or edit as I re consider these answers.
1. I have had no role within the Wikipedia organization, which of course is why I now want to play some role. I do have a role in the wider community of education and local governance, being governor of an upper school and a lower school and now a director of an evolving University Technical College. I am an elected councillor and the director of an active commercial company in connection with which I am a member of the Hydrographic Society. I not infrequently run technical training courses in scientific institutes overseas and of most satisfaction in developing countries.
2. Its clear from the above that I am interested in education in all its forms. I am convinced that the internet has the potential to educate the world; it also carries a mass of utter drivel. Wikepedia seems to be one of the few dependable sources of knowledge and is clearly worth supporting.
3. Well for one thing that its existence be more widely recognised so it needs publicising. I would also want that it becomes more formally recognised. The two objectives are synonymous so I would be seeking recognition at governmental level such that its potential be taken forward at schools and pre university teaching. 4.
5 & 6. That’s not at all difficult. The answer should always be the truth whatever the outcome. If the outcome is that Wikipedia is cast in a bad light (cant imagine why) then it is the duty of the board to present the best side of the issue. I cannot fathom why the board would be concerned if the organization in an overly positive light… just so long as the basis is the truth. Now if an inaccurate statement has been previously made then the board must clarify that confusion.
7. I do now and have previously sat on charitable entities. The rules are generally well understood and are based on a deal of common sense though I am aware that a number of charities do appear to flout them!
8. By committing to a clear recognition of the value of the volunteer ethos and by buiding in a sound communication strategy that connects volunteers to the day to day workings of Wiki such that the volunteer force does not become alienated from the management of the organization 9. Surely this is a process of structure evolution. As Wikipedia “professionalises” the incoming staff will need to be provided with the mechanism both to incorporate volunteers in the workload and to recognise their value to the organization. If Wikipedia were to start from nothing then this evolutionary process would not be possible.
10. No, I’m not really of a view that Wikipedia should recruit its paid staff from within the Wiki community, at least not as a matter of policy. Of course Wiki is itself an ideal platform for staff recruitment so I would be surprised if anyone within the Wiki community was not well aware of a staff position and free to apply. But at the end of the day Wiki should recruit from the best available on the day.
12. I am not keen, it seems like a form of content censorship; albeit a self imposed censorship, that is alien to the Wiki philosophy.