Saturday, October 08, 2022

An hydrology professor was killed in a shooting

I learned of Prof Meixner because of an outpouring of grief on Twitter by many people I knew of because of my hobby. I include papers and authors related to hydrology and related topics to Wikidata. As they expressed their loss, I started adding papers for Prof Meixner. The result is an evolving Scholia for him and his co-authors.

I have also done some work on some of the people I noticed on Twitter. Their Scholia has been expanded as a result. When they collaborated on research with Prof Meixner, they may pop up in his co-author graph.

Recently I had a tshirt printed with a design from a paper. When people suggest a picture that goes with a DOI and explain why it illustrated one of his papers, I will include the text on my blog. When there are more than one, the one Twitter likes best will get a tshirt.

It is horrible only to learn about someone when he dies like this. Apparantly this is how I deal with it.



Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Diversity for WMF is in its fundraising and in its results

Diversity is a stated objective and the Wikimedia Foundation does a comparatively good job.. except that it could be so much better.

It is known that (read Gapminder) genuinely rich people live in every country. The Wikimedia Foundation as a rule does not target the truly rich and consequently the average donation is low. It makes us independent of the vagaries of the opinions of the really rich. As Wikimedia becomes a truly global organisation, it should raise funds everywhere and report what WMF does locally. 

As we report on what we do locally, it follows that we have an interest for any locality. As local children do use Commons we ask people to upload pictures of a local policeman, firefighter, nurse, police car ambulance etc for them to use. As students read in their own language we easily offer e-books using the hub best suited for the purpose. When as a response we are asked to provide services, we prioritise the local service and we will internationalise and localise to get the most out of our investments.

As we become more global and diverse, the percentage of what the provision of our services will represent more and more the global distribution of people. It will grow our community, it will grow our audience and we will evolve away from an organisation managed from "the center of the world".

Plenty of challenges ahead but not so much the amount of money the highest earners in the WMF get paid. At that I do not give a fuck as long as the job gets done and, so should you.