In discussion on IRC, we were wondering about the process for setting up bureaucrats, and how many we should have. Currently, myself and Sebmol are the two bureaucrats on the English Wikiversity, and there is a nomination pending on Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship for JWSchmidt.
The main questions, as I see them, include:
- How many bureaucrats does this project need?
- What is the due process for this taking place?
- What kinds of actions should be delegated to bureaucrats, and how is this kept in check?
- (Possibly minor point): Should this take place on its own page, rather than Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship?
As always, our processes are in the open, and subject to scrutiny and consensus approval. If there is anything regarding this process (including my own bureaucratship*) that you would like to comment on, please do so here or on the above page or its talk page. Thanks. Cormaggio talk 16:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
- Well, what other powers do Bureaucrats have besides making new sysops? If that is it, having two would be plenty, as that is a job that is only needed around once a month. If they also have the powers of check user and delete revision, then we might need more, depending on how wikiversity develops.(Looking at meta, m:Bureaucrat, looks like change name and grant bot status are the other powers they have, stewards have the checkuser and delete revision)--Rayc 17:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
- I think we need Wikiversity:Bureaucratship, a page that would be similar to Wikiversity:Custodianship. --JWSchmidt 17:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
- Cormac, i think you are a great bureaucrat. You are diplomatic and open to feedback, which is good for the community. The job of a bureaucrat is not only appointing sysops. You and Sebmol are also the official representatives (or authorities) of Wikiversity. I have no wish to be either a bureaucrat or a sysop. I would be happy to devote my time at the school of history or to debate here on what Wikiversity could be in the future. At the moment, our community is peaceful, there are no conflicts whatsoever. In the future, your task as bureaucrat could become one of great responsibility, since you will be the highest authority, who can make and break those who want to have influence in Wikiversity.--Daanschr 18:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
- One of the main successes of Wikipedia is that Jimmy Wales is the leader of this organization. A history of Wikipedia has been written (i don't know how accurate it is, since i was not there at the moment), which could give you an indication on how to run a succesful organization.--Daanschr 19:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
- Two things: let's just officially confirm Cormaggio as of this edit - a bureaucrat of Wikiversity, complete with its full rights and responsibilities.
- As for the other questions, I need to think a bit more about it. I'd advocate promoting JWSchmidt though - the nomination has been up for months, and probably would be a healthy idea to resolve the issue. --HappyCamper 00:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, let me tiptoe a little here and answer Cormaggio's questions right at the top:
- 2 is already plenty. We could pospone the bureaucrat++, but I dislike this ambiguity. What I expect would happen, is that these bits would simply be in dormant but trusting hands. This sounds reasonable I think.
- Due process is anything which does not cause excessive drama. If we have contributors crying foul despite a carefully adjudicated, moderated process, where the "right" decisions have been made by the book, that is not due process. Due process is graceful and self evident.
- Bureaucrats need to know when to recuse themselves from making decisions...
- We can keep everything on the Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship. Nice and centralised.
Now, I know I am not being particularly elegant with this response - it's supposed to be a block of marble to be shaped into a statue, hm? So, please, continue this thread. We can resolve this issue now, and move on to other fun things to work on. It's one of the housekeeping items which should be addressed.
A sketch: when I support a candidate for special sysop bits, I am giving them my vote of confidence that they can be more autonomous on this site - this is what it really says. I rarely babysit their actions - it's not why I am here, and it would defeat the purpose of trusting them in the first place. Granted, these bits should not have a high activation energy to get rid of - it is not, and should not, be something that defines a contributor's primary identity here. My expectation is that those users with sysop bits should act in a way with other editors such that their role as a custodian or regular user is clearly distinguished, and that this is carried out in an ethical way. There should not be any ambiguity in this. This place does not need accusations of a "cabal" or situations of a "corrupt custodian". Smart little steps serve a long way to keep the integrity of institutions that have served Wiki projects well since Day 1. A custodian, and especially a bureaucrat, should not compromise this. Poor morale accumulates, is extremely difficult to dissipate, and is unhealthy.
Note the rhetoric around "trust" and "integrity" though. The essence of this is that the community simply expects surprises to be kept to a minimum. To make an analogy, those in positions of power act as if they are taking care of the the macroeconomic engine. Measured is the key word. I would prefer to see bureaucrats not promote those that they have supported, or close forums for those whom they have opposed. The mind is abstract and one can read everything into anything. Sometimes, an ambiguous detached restraint is very apt.
Alirght! Back to our Colloquium... --HappyCamper 03:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
- I agree with you. I prefer a kind of leadership that is reasonable and above the factions. Especially in an organization that is just starting and is in need of new volunteers it is good to have leaders that try to include others and want to serve the interest of the community as a whole. It is important to be positive and to try to come to all kinds of ideas on how we can make this project into a succes.--Daanschr 11:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
- Well, this issue of leadership is quite complicated because the stratification on the Wiki is very loose. In a sense, it is not fair on the part of the community to burden bureaucrats with unequivocal leadership. At the end of the day, the accounts that they have are operated by people like you and me. On an open Wiki, leadership emerges sort of spontaneously - we associate authority and competence with mature accounts, not necessarily those with special bits. The correlation is high though, I'm confident to say. What we should have bureaucrats do, is in the future if we have "votes" of some sort, that they can close them and "officially" declare them as such. Some participants like to have this formality for a sense of professionalism and security, and there's no harm in having them do this I think. --HappyCamper 16:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
That sounds better then my idea on leadership.--Daanschr 19:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)