Introduction for new Board members
This is a short New Board member survival guide.
Welcome and congratulations!
You are appointed by the General Assembly (GA) to represent Wikimedia Belgium, so you are responsible for your own, and the other board members' actions. After 2 years you will be evaluated by the GA, and possibly re-elected. The chairman needs to be re-elected every year.
- 1 Internet domain
- 2 Board members
- 3 The board member Alphabet
- 4 Instant messaging
- 5 Use of G-Suite
- 6 Use of the web sites
- 7 Wikimedia distribution lists
- 8 Responsibilities
- 9 Legal matters
Our internet domain is
For the current board members, see Board.
Previous board members automatically get the title of Advisor to the Board, unless they object, or when there is a good reason not to do.
The board member Alphabet
Indirectly, the board alphabet is a consequence of our motto: Engaging people in free knowledge
A: Attention, Affiliation, Advisor B: Board member, Budget C: Collaboration, Community oriented, Confidence, Contacts, Cultural, Communication, Chapter, Check D: Documented, Democratic, Double check E: Empathy, Effective, Efficient, Enthousiasme F: Feeling, Flexibility, Freedom G: Group oriented H: Holistic I: Inclusive, Identity, Interested J: K: Knowledge L: Listen, Learning M: Motivating, Member oriented, MediaWiki N: O: Open, Organizing P: Partners, People, Public, Polyglot, Projects, Protecting R: Reporting, Responsible S: Strategy, Structured, Simple T: Trustworthy, Transparent U: Understand, Universal V: Values, Volunteers, Verify W: Welcoming, Wiki, Wikimedia, Wikipedia Y: Youth
We try not to use SMS (unhandy), unless in emergency situations. We would rather like to use WhatsApp or Telegram for fast internal communication.
For the general public, we use Facebook,Twitter, or e-mail (announcements, newsletters).
We use the organisation wiki to post more technical, organisational, and transparent information.
Use of G-Suite
For the Affiliate administration we use the standard tools of the Google Suite for non-profit organisations available as a web service. For most tools there exist an equivalent Android app. Certain other clients can be used e.g. Outlook and Thunderbird as e-mail client.
We have chosen for G-Suite, because:
- We can manage it within our team
- It is safe, stable, cheap
- Easy to learn, to configure
- Most of us can use without any problem
- It is accessible from non-Windows platforms
- Microsoft documents can be imported and exported
- It is GDPR-compliant (important, and mandatory!)
|Calendar||Private, board, projects, admin, public1||Planning|
|Gmail||Personal address, distribution lists (groups)|
|Google Docs||Documents, spreadsheets, presentations||Collaboration, preparation of events|
|Google Drive||Folders and documents2||Manage and share private and public documents|
|Google Keep||Can be used to share simple documents||Good alternative for etherpad|
|Hangout||Conferencing tool||Can be used with third parties|
- For some modules there exist a Windows client (File manager, Outlook).
- Most tools have an equivalent Android app
- Other modules exist; we might want to discover them
- Public calendar: https://wikimedia.be/calendar (readonly)
- Use PDF documents for interoperability, and non-repudiation
Use of e-Mail
Our primary intra-board communication channel is boardwikimedia.be (for internal communication within the Board). It can be reached by third parties.
There is a spam-reporting filter. The administrator is notified about spam messages.
Our official mail account is infowikimedia.be.
Administrative email can go to adminwikimedia.be (government, utility and service invoices).
There are multiple types of G-Suite-users:
- One subject = one mail -> more easy to track discussions; start a new message for a 2nd subject
- Limit the number of recipients (need to know, to act)
- Avoid mixing internal and external recipients (avoid miss-communication, information breach)
- E-mail is not always the best communication channel, consider using an URL to a wiki-page, or a (private) Google doc via URL
- Be polite and correct
- Put people only in TO when they need to answer, require some action, or must be notified
- When you are in CC you do not need to answer, unless you see a good reason
- Use BCC when doing a large mailing to people that do not know each other (privacy) => e-mail address is a GDPR data element
- Otherwise, use BCC sparingly
- Spell check... be polite
Sometimes instant messaging, or a simple phone call, is more practical and time efficient but they have no legal value. E-mail can generate unintended misunderstandings depending on people but it can have legal value.
Try to use both e-mail and wiki depending on your purpose. The wiki has a history for each page and each version of page is automatically kept. New people can also instantly read or update the messages. You do not automatically receive notifications when the wiki is modified, unless you mark the page in your watchlist and subscribe to the updates.
E-mail subject prefixes
Useful... the recipient immediately knows what to do with the e-mail.
Use of the web sites
Private official web site
Drupal official website: https://wikimedia.be (please do not use http) for general 1:M communication.
Restricted access for update; to be read by the general public, polyglot.
The Foundation has lots of web sites, many of them being important for Affiliates.
We use many different social platforms, to inform our users.
- Transparent community communication: https://be.wikimedia.org
- Twitter: (/ ) ( ) https://twitter.com/WikimediaBE or ( ) https://twitter.com/WikimediaBE_fr
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WikimediaBelgium
- Telegram: https://web.telegram.org/#/im?p=@WikimediaBE (https://t.me/WikimediaBE)
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wikimedia-belgium
Wikimedia distribution lists
You need to register on https://lists.wikimedia.org to send a message, or to receive messages.
|wikimedia-l||Worldwide Wikimedia list (all communities, affiliates, projects)||Public read||High volumes||Worldwide|
|wikimediabe-l||Wikimedia Belgium||Need an account to read||Low volumes||Belgium|
In case of bad behaviour, Board members can be suspended, or demoted.