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User talk:Christine Bush/Archive1

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Archive 1

Wiki Forum Now Open

[copied from /Governance test page that has been deleted - wiki forum now open at Forum:Home- John Stephenson 17:57, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Your forum account

Christine, please consider reinstating your account on the forums. The reason you should do that is because you are a member of the Citizendium Council, whose business will be conducted there, with few exceptions, for purposes of transparency and obtaining community feedback. Without the ability to post on the Council Boards, the Council will not have your vote on motions, or your always thoughtful comments.

Please reconsider. Anthony.Sebastian 18:45, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Please advise how discussions dominated by a disproportionately few persons, in a different sub-domain (with planned obsolescence), behind closed doors, is transparent. Thank you. Christine Bush 18:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I was invited to contribute boldly. (Be careful what you wish for.) Christine Bush 19:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
It's been a long time since I contributed much to the forums; then, they were considerably more active, but in retrospect not very conctructive or effective, except as a time and energy sink. There are just a few of us on Council, I'm sure we have the wit to communicate as needed.Gareth Leng 11:11, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Gareth. Your optimism is laudable. Christine Bush 17:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Also see: Ongoing discussion regarding wiki-side forums.


Some background for visitors

I suspect the decision to conduct Council business in the Forum, instead of in the wiki, was based entirely on a precedent set at some point rather than on an explicit policy. (I have not rummaged through the archives, yet, to confirm this claim. But I am confident that if this is not the case that it will be pointed out in short order.) The Constabulary made it quite clear when I was elected that the role of Author Representative entailed no compulsory activities. I interpret this proviso to include within its scope not being compelled to participate in Forum discussions. Despite this, for the first two months of my term, I did participate in Forum which was a mixed experience.

The Constabulary did indicate that I would be asked to vote on things once in awhile, which I will gladly do if made aware of them. This is the crux of the matter. If discussion is essentially taken "offshore" (to use a contemporary economic practice which I find more appropriate here than "offline"), it easily distracts (and I would argue, diminishes) the main project: our wiki. The result is that the CZ wiki has become essentially a content management system (CMS). A CMS is very useful, but there are some things with which a CMS should not be confused, like a community.

No doubt, the CZ Forum was adopted with the belief that it would address a problem well-demonstrated elsewhere, i.e. users have great difficulty confining their comments on Talk pages to the content and substance of the article with which it is associated in the wiki database. I do not dispute either this tendency, or the effectiveness of using a Forum to address it. However, we should also note that Forum participation is not only not compulsory for Council members, it is not compulsory for anyone. The result? A disconnect between new (or wiki-only) users and Forum users. Almost all self-criticism, meta-discussion of the CZ project, and governance itself is absent from the wiki (except for a good bit of old stuff that was either never migrated to the Forum, or never removed from the wiki---Past managerial decisions, Past editorial decisions, Past Elections). This is why you, like I did, may experience some part of CZ as a ghost town. In a way, it is.

Trigger warning: I think other wiki-based encyclopedia projects get this part right. It all stays in the wiki. And as Author Representative (if only for a year) I feel like I belong here, where the Authors are.

Fortunately, a wiki-based Forum is being tested even as I write this and the current Forum's days are numbered. I hope the Council will consider that it might be prudent for our deliberations and votes to be among the first uses of this new addition to our wiki.

Some random points:
  1. The decision on where to conduct governance has largely been down to the elected officers of the day, but the old Management Council, whose decisions are largely upheld by the current Council, did pass a rule some four years in stating that most of their debates would take place on the forums. However, different groups have done different things, and at various times discussions have been held on the main wiki, the forums, the public mailing lists, the Editorial Council wiki, and private e-mail, resulting in a situation where members are often unaware of new rules or decisions. (I did devise a way for new Council discussions to be automatically linked-to on social media, but that hinges on people reading e.g. Twitter.) There is also a Charter article that demands "transparent and fair governance with a minimum of bureaucracy".
  2. There are no rules, as far as I can tell have trawled through lots of them, that requires any elected officer or appointee to do anything at all, including maintain a forum account. However, they can be removed for "inactivity", according to the Charter. This has never been defined and so in practice may have previously been interpreted very narrowly, i.e. the person has disappeared and is uncontactable. No-one has ever been removed in this way, I believe.
  3. There is a sense in which the forums and the wiki are separate domains. Many members do not have forum accounts at all; others that do never post; and some people have forum accounts despite not having a main wiki account. The only real problem with moving to the main wiki, I think, is how to allow non-members an effective means of communicating publicly with project members. We investigated using a Google group as an open forum last year, but it never formally went before the Council. I recently moved the wiki forum test pages from the wiki to ensure they don't get wiped if that wiki is ever re-synchronised with the main one, and also to see if it would lead to a re-opening of this debate. I personally would rather we were on the main wiki, as it is more bureaucratic to maintain and police the forums as well. I also wonder whether there would have to be a rule over how the Constabulary should act on a main wiki forum, since they are supposed to be more hands-off on the current forum, and are not allowed to involve themselves with content.
  4. The governance pages on the main wiki are supposed to be there, as a permanent record. They sometimes link to forum discussions, but they're not intended to be moved to the forum. Elections also take place via the main wiki. John Stephenson 19:41, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for this additional background. I appreciate it. Christine Bush 21:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks and congratulations

Christine, thanks for taking part in the election, and congratulations on winning a seat on the Citizendium Council. I look forward to working with you and the other members of the Council, and in particular, discussing the thoughts you put forward in your election statement.

The issue of making Citizendium a nonprofit tax-exempt organization has been discussed many times in the past few years, without resolution. Please look at the messages on this topic in the forum: here.

If you have any thoughts on how we can proceed, or any resources that could help, please bring them up. If you wanted you could start a new forum topic for discussion.

Anthony.Sebastian 23:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

>> Hi Anthony, thank you for this welcome message and for all that you do for CZ. I want to be an active member of the Council. I look forward to working with you. Christine Bush 18:16, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2014 election

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2014 election. Please visit this page to accept or decline the position. No action will also be treated as declining. If you accept, you may choose to write a statement - see the election page for further details. Alternatively, contact me via my Talk page or privately via e-mail. Regards, John Stephenson 15:24, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

I have accepted and appreciate your vote. I did not post a statement to the "official" statement page in time, but I have written one that you can read here.


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