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Nominations for the Executive Committee 2012/Q&A with candidates

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India EC Elections 2012
* Elections 2012
* Announcement
* Nomination process
* Candidates (9)
* Connect: Candidate IRC, Q&A
* Results
* Archive: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Welcome

This is the page for discussion with EC Election Candidates. Read the questions already asked, before adding your questions by pressing on the New question button on the right. When a new window pops up, type a summary of your question on the subject line, elaborate the same in the body of the text box before saving the page. Please add your wiki signature after your question. The question will be added as a new section to this page. Add this page to your watch list and check back to participate in the discussion. Any candidate can respond to any question. The suggested timeline for adding questions is Sep 7, 2012 and the discussions is Sep 10, 2012

See also

Natural working style?

Can you share your couple of examples of on wiki or off wiki contributions or talk about your natural working style and how you dealt with conflicts which are a crucial element of a volunteer board? --Arjunaraoc 7 Sep 2012

Sorry my question is a bit ambiguous. I am looking for few examples of conflict situation either on-wiki or off-wiki and summary of your actions illustrating your working style in such situations. No need to take any specific names. --Arjunaraoc 16:21, 7 September 2012 (IST)

Abhijeet Safai's Response and followups

Good evening! My natural working style is that of a student. I try to learn new things and enjoy while learning them. I am aware of my limitations and try to improve upon my strong points. I have edit count of 1600 on English wikipedia within a period of one and half year and have edit count of 400 on Marathi Wikipedia. Being a doctor, I am more interested in medical and health related articles.

I generally try to be away from conflicts as far as possible. Some of the ways to do so is to not to provoke it by misbehaving or to not to give much importance to it if work is not getting affected. But if work is getting affected, then one has to break the silence and should guide people in right direction.

For that I try to listen first because listening / understanding what the person wants to say is an art! So I listen first and try to understand the process. It has happened many times that I have learned in this process. So if I am wrong, I get to learn. (Eg. - I have learned this way from user AshLin). And If I feel that my logic is stronger than other person, then I try to convince with the help of rules already made. Now it is easy to explain rules if they are already there. (Eg - I was able to convince some editors at 'Ayurveda' article that they are actually vandalizing the article when they were trying to push their POV) So many problem get solved there, only patient reading and understanding is needed. But there is still the possibility of some gray areas where I keep the issue pending and ask the other person to work on some common minimum programme for some time so that in the meanwhile there are chances that a bond will be created between us and it will be further easy to come to consensus.

In this process I try to make sure that I dont hurt people by my words. Because many a times people feel lot pain if they are insulted. I take utmost care to not to make any personal comments.

Karthik Nadar's Response and followups

  • On-wiki conflicts are popular among on-wiki editors. In that case, what I do first is I reply politely in a respectful manner, and if the conflict continues to go on, I request few editors I have been working with online and have settled many issues there. Never been to ANI regarding any conflicts.
  • In case of off-wiki conflicts, I do share with some of my non-wiki friends (my best friends to whom I keep always updated with my on-goings) and I always take their suggestions. While in confusion, I have been freely pinging experienced people from the community (thanks for allowing to keep the names confidential) and take their suggestions. I cocktail up the suggestion and then I decide what is better for the Wikimedia project, never worrying about me.

In a simple way to answer this question, keeping up transparency and showcasing truth will always keeps yourself and your project alive. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 00:41, 8 September 2012 (IST)

Nikita Belavate's Response and followups

Natural Working Style:

Try to keep things in perspective of the movement and Wikipedia project, A Free Knowledge Movement:

  1. reduce conflicts as much as possible
  2. discussions should lead to work
  3. work oriented
  4. goal oriented
  5. team player
  6. distribution of credit where its due

Pranav Curumsey's Response and followups

With regards to contributions, I have contributed over 10,000 edits on English Wikipedia and over 300 images to Commons. Off-wiki, I have conducted Meetups, Workshops and an Academy as well as being a part of the core team for WikiConference India 2011.

There have been several issues I have had to deal with both on and off Wikipedia. While we are all here for the same movement goals, our thought processes may differ quite a bit. The key is to respect each individual and their thoughts at the same time trying to find a consensus keeping the what would be the best for the movement and its ideals in mind. Pranav 11:15, 7 September 2012 (IST)

Thanks Pranav for your response. Sorry my question was bit ambiguous. I have added clarification comments to my question in terms of on-wiki and off-wiki examples of conflicting situation and how you dealt with them. You may consider elaborating your response.--Arjunaraoc 16:23, 7 September 2012 (IST)
While I don't think it fair to quote specific incidents, I may say that WCI 11 had its fair share of issues, all of which were solved some quickly some prolonged, some were small, some weren't. After the conference I have worked with a large number of people from the same set of Wikipedians on different projects online and offline and we have not let past issues between us affect our working relationships. Pranav 21:44, 10 September 2012 (IST)

Srikanth Ramakrishnan's Response and followups

Hi all, sorry for the late response. I've been a contributor to several Wikimedia projects since June 2005. I myself started on the wrong foot, but over time learned how things work and today have 19000+ edits on the English Wikipedia, a few hundred on the Hindi Wikipedia, and roughly a hundred photographs on the Wikimedia Commons. I've also worked on translating two Wikipedia-tools into Hindi. Being very active in the Counter Vandalism Unit, I come across people who vandalise articles quite often. I do land up in conflicts with users who try and push their views. Even while writing articles, I come across people who try to push across their views, or use Wikipedia as a blog. I believe that the simplest way to handle such situations is to try and talk politely to the user. If this fails, it is best to be a little stern. If the issue escalates further, I seek consensus from other community members, mostly from users who I may have not interacted with, to avoid Conflicts. If it goes out of hand, I approach an administrator and if needed, send across an email. An offline conflict may not be of the same nature as POV pushing is more common in the offline world. Regards, --HKTRPL 11:58, 12 September 2012 (IST)

Shantanoo's Response and followups

Most of conflicts seem to happen due to misunderstanding and/or incomplete knowledge/information about the suituation/topic which is being discussed/debated. Listening to both sides of the argument, and trying to explain the reason behind each side had helped in past resolving the conflict. Most of the time people understand each other points and are mature enough to reach acceptable solution. Making sure that there is no name calling, personal attack during whole conflict makes sure that the suituation does not get dirty.

Sivahari Nandakumar's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Sohan Maheshwar's Response and followups

I would describe my working style as practical and prepared. One example that springs to mind about off-wiki is when i conducted a WikiAcademy in an engineering college in Sivakasi. As you may know, only 6 wiki accounts can be created from an IP address in a 24 hour span but there is a provision for WikiAcademies whereby, if informed in advance, the IP address of the college can create more than 6 login ids. Unfortunately the organizers had supplied the wrong IP address to me. But this was a possibility that i had taken into account and had created throwaway accounts in the week leading upto the event. Thus the attendees used those accounts and everything went better than expected.

On-wiki i'd like to resolve conflicts by engineering healthy discussions with the persons involved (trolls, aside :) ). There are have been couple of instances where there was a certain issue about copyrights in photos that i had uploaded to Commons. I got a notice from a moderator and after some back-and-forth, i realized that i was in the wrong and took the picture down immediately. Similarly I think in an environment such as Wikipedia, conflicts can be resolved by understanding that every person is entitled to an opinion and thus there will be differing opinons but with dialogue a common consensus can be reached. --Sohanmaheshwar 18:24, 10 September 2012 (IST)

Viswa Prabha's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Member Engagement Plan?

I would like to understand your plans about member engagement. Considering it is an volunteer driven movement - how do you envisage/plan to build on the engagement opportunities for existing members and encourage fresh/new participation. Abhijith Jayanthi 7 Sep 2012

Abhijeet Safai's Response and followups

As there are two questions in this question, I would like to comment on it one by one.

1) Engagement opportunities for existing members

  • Planning the activities beforehand and successful execution of the same
  • Increasing the opportunities to share the experiences of contributors
  • Making contributors realize the benefits others are getting because of them
  • Sustaining the passion by creating new learning opportunities

2) Encouraging new participation

  • Old members to share their passion, fun and satisfaction they are getting out of Wikipedia activities
  • Relating the Wikipedia with daily life of newcomers
  • Arranging drives to increase memberships in schools and colleges
  • Creating more and more opportunities where new people can confront Wikipedia related activities and can experiment with it and can realize the thrill in it

Karthik Nadar's Response and followups

  • Decrease in number of members is about improper communication and a complicated membership procedures. Secondly, people are not receiving enough membership benefits which they expect from the Chapter, and that is another department which must be taken care of. Keeping existing members on the move and taking care of them in every Wikimedia voluntary activity will help in keeping them on the loop and will also act as an informal way to attract new members.
  • Getting new members is only possible if we work on and ease the membership process asap. I have seen people willing to donate Rs. 100 for the community, but payment process is what halts them from doing so. Why to become a member is another aspect to be made strong.

Present scenario is about retaining the old and winning new, and hence would make sure to work on both the aspect, if elected. Thanks! -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 00:52, 8 September 2012 (IST)

Nikita Belavate's Response and followups

Member engagement plan:

  • active involvement of college students by creating wikipedia and free knowledge support groups
  • creation of projects to suit interests of various groups of contributors

for example: - science and technology - historical interest - GLAM - Medicine or Life sciences

  • Levels of members

Membership

  1. student
  2. industry
  3. academician
  4. sponsors(non-commerical)
  5. general membership

These are just degrees of support towards Wikipedia and does not unfairly benefit any group. Let the fees be the same students get fee concession and can increase fees of other members.

Pranav Curumsey's Response and followups

You have hit the nail on its head Abhijith. We are a volunteer driven movement and people cannot expect to elect an EC to do all the work. The EC can only facilitate volunteer work. If elected to the EC, I hope to help make the process of providing support to volunteers seamless and make the chapter more approachable.

With regards to membership, if elected, I would push the chapter to start a community wide dialogue as a large section of the community are not members of the chapter to see what we can change to be more inclusive. The chapter can only be successful if everyone joins in wholeheartedly. Apart from this, I strongly believe though we are less than 2 years old there is a need for membership reform. There needs to be a second tier of membership made available for those who are not part of the movement but are common users who benefit from the movement. Pranav 11:55, 7 September 2012 (IST)

Srikanth Ramakrishnan's Response and followups

As a voluteer and contributor for the last seven years, it is my dream to see more and more people involved with the Wikimedia movement in the coming years. My main target is students and working professionals in Tier II and Tier III cities/towns across India. As many of us are aware, phsyical outreach isn't very effective. In order to make it effective, we need to first gauge the level of interest through workshops, meetups, academies et al, and then follow it up with online communication. I believe Tier II and III cities can contribute more effectiviely to Indic wikimedia projects. Our approach must be experience based rather than academia based in the case of students. --HKTRPL 12:30, 12 September 2012 (IST)

Shantanoo's Response and followups

To increase member engagement following would be helpful.

  • Hackathons: Most of the times the editors/members are not aware of the basic things like editing, content categorisation (whether the content should go on wikipedia, wikisource or wikibooks). During hackthons, basic technical issues can be cleared which can improve editors efficiency for contributing content. It also allow people to connect to each other in physical world and thus reduces attrition.
  • Increasing collaboration and disscussion between the members, meet-ups in real and virtual world for sharing ideas. Some people don't feel confortable sharing ideas in virtual world. For them, meet-ups would be useful. (this need more clarifaction)

Sivahari Nandakumar's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Sohan Maheshwar's Response and followups

One option that i think the chapter should explore when it comes to recruiting new members is social media. Nowadays a marketer/advertiser's greatest tool is social media and when used well can very effectively bring in new members who i hope will be able to contribute greatly to the chapter's progress.

Of course we cannot ignore existing members who have put in a great deal of time and effort over the years to promote and further the cause of the chapter. Firstly i would like to improve the membership renewal process as i think it is currently a tad cumbersome. Also, activities along the lines of WLM and GLAM can really retain the spark of interest in existing members. I'd also like to start a group edit-a-thon which can happen at a designated time on a certain day of the week. This can potentially improve the scope of articles especially in the movies and music categories which we as a nation have a great tradition of. Sohanmaheshwar 18:50, 10 September 2012 (IST)

Viswa Prabha's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Chapter's focus for next 2 years

What do you believe ought to be the chapter's focus for the next 2 years? Could you elaborate your thoughts in the areas - projects, finances, chapter administration, chapter infrastructure (and any other) Arunram 17:04, 7 September 2012 (IST)

Abhijeet Safai's Response and followups

  1. Increasing number of participants for editing and other activities
  2. Indic language related projects & health related projects
  3. Improving on the quality of the content so that it becomes more reliable

Karthik Nadar's Response and followups

  • Projects
    • Winding up Wiki Loves Monuments in a grand a memorable way and getting back the same contest in India next year, very grand compared to next year is what I have so far planned.
    • Other projects will need brainstorming discussion with other EC members, every one's ideas, review and suggestion will be considered. Senior members will always be contact in complex cases.
  • Finances
    • I have contacted EC members before and have always expressed by interesting in doing something similar to Fundraising appeal for our Chapter. This would generate funds for our chapter wherein we would showcase many Indian Wikipedians and their interesting stories.
    • No one has lead this so far, and hence would make sure that I will be the first one to take this up ;)
  • Chapter administration
    • Chapter administration will require thorough going of how Chapter was administered these days. I know some legal knowledge of laws relating to companies and NPO's, however applying them in practical world will be different and will be a great lesson I will ever learnt.
  • Chapter infrastructure
    • Instead on focusing on available infrastructure, I will be focusing on how to update and develop the existing ones. However, at the beginning, going thorough of how Chapter has been using available infrastructure must be opted.

Let me know if I have sounded clear and upto what you were expecting to be. Thanks. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 22:26, 8 September 2012 (IST)

Nikita Belavate's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Pranav Curumsey's Response and followups

With regards to funding, I think we need to work on the tax exemption certificate as post that we would be in a much better position to launch corporate fundraising in India.

In terms of infrastructure we are still very infant and are lucky to have CIS support. In the next two years I would like to see the chapter build strong foundations and takeover what was India Programs from CIS once ready.

In terms of projects, I have already stated that I see the chapter being more of a facilitator than anything else mainly due to shortage of manpower and volunteers. I would like to see the red tape involved in playing facilitator cut down considerably. Pranav 21:57, 10 September 2012 (IST)

Srikanth Ramakrishnan's Response and followups

Hi, as far as the future is concerned, I think we ought to learn a lot from other chapters across the globe. We need to ensure that Donations to the Chapter are excempted from Income Tax under Sec. 80G of the IT Act. This would help us get more donors, volunteers and also institutional memberships. We need to stand up on our own feet and try and do all that the Foundation has planned for India without having to reply on any other body. --HKTRPL 12:36, 12 September 2012 (IST)

Shantanoo's Response and followups

Projects:

  • Digitazation of books for wikisource.
  • Improving quality and accuracy of the content.
  • Support ongoing projects like GLAM and new projects.
  • Support multi-lingual Indic projects with the help of SIGs.

Sivahari Nandakumar's Response and followups

..To be updated..

Sohan Maheshwar's Response and followups

Increasing the number of editors from India. I just feel that there is so much information out there that is not documented but probably deserves to be. This could be achieved in a number of ways. One way to do it would be to popularize Wiki Loves Monuments so that non wiki editors also get into the groove of contributing to wiki. Thus small projects can be taken up in such capacities to improve general quality of Indian wiki articles.

With regards to infrastructure and finances, we might need to step up the donations that we received. Corporate donations are something we can really look at. Everybody in the world uses wiki so asking people to volunteer to donate won't be amiss. Once this is setup we can play chapter activities and look at methods to improve the existing infrastructure accordingly.

Also, i am not an editor on any of the Indic wikis but i (and i'm sure you too) would love for the Indic wikis to really grow. This is something i'd really wish the chapter works towards in the next 2 years.
--Sohanmaheshwar 00:47, 15 September 2012 (IST)

Viswa Prabha's Response and followups

..To be updated..