Introduction for new Board members

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Logo Wikimedia Belgium
Logo Wikimedia Belgium

This is a short New Board member survival guide.

Welcome and congratulations as a Board member of Wikimedia Belgium!

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.

Internet domain[edit]

Our internet domain is

This is used for the web site, the e-mail domain, and to identify the Google Suite user accounts. It must be re-validated every year (by paying the invoice from the ISP).

Board members[edit]

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 so.

The board member Alphabet[edit]

Indirectly, the board alphabet is a consequence of our motto: Engaging people in free knowledge

A: Attention, Affiliation, Advisor, Activity
B: Board member, Budget
C: Collaboration, Community oriented, Confidence, Contacts, Cultural, Communication, Chapter, Check
D: Documented, Democratic, Double check, Diversity
E: Empathy, Effective, Efficient, Enthousiasme
F: Feeling, Flexibility, Freedom
G: Group oriented, Geographically
H: Holistic
I: Inclusive, Identity, Interested
K: Knowledge
L: Listen, Learning, Logic
M: Motivating, Member oriented, MediaWiki
N: Neutral
O: Open, Organise
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

Instant messaging[edit]

We try not to use SMS (unhandy), unless in emergency situations. We would rather like to use WhatsApp, Telegram for fast (internal) communication.

For the general public, we use our official web site, Facebook,Twitter, or e-mail (announcements, newsletters), preferably via the account.

We use the organisation wiki to post more technical, organisational, project, and transparent information.

You can use video conferencing to contact Wikimedia Belgium.

Use of G-Suite[edit]

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 compatible 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!)

Main functions[edit]

Application Modules Usage
Calendar Private, board, projects, admin, public1 Planning
Gmail Personal address, distribution lists (groups) e-mail
Google Docs Documents, spreadsheets, presentations Collaboration, preparation of events. Good alternative for etherpad
Google Drive Folders and documents2 Manage and share private and public documents
Google Keep Can be used to share simple documents Private notes
Google Meet Conferencing tool Can be used with third parties
  • For some modules there exist a Windows client (File manager, Outlook).
  • Linux is supported as well
  • Most tools have an equivalent Android app
  • Other modules exist; we might want to discover them

Administrator: Geert


  1. Public calendar: (readonly)
  2. Use PDF documents for interoperability, and non-repudiation (all Google Docs tools allow export to PDF)

Use of e-Mail[edit]

Our primary intra-board communication channel is (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

Administrative email can go to (government, utility and service invoices).

There are multiple types of G-Suite-users:

E-mail tips[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Useful... the recipient immediately knows what to do with the e-mail.

Prefix Meaning Prefix (urgent) Meaning
I: information UI: Urgent information
A: Action UA: Urgent action
Q: Question UQ: Urgent question

Use of the web sites[edit]

Private official web site[edit]

Drupal official website: (please do not use http) for general 1:M communication.

Restricted access for update; to be read by the general public, polyglot.

Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

The Foundation has lots of web sites, many of them being important for Affiliates.

Public social platforms[edit]

We use many different social platforms, to inform our users.

See also: communications plan, public relations.

Wikimedia distribution lists[edit]

You need to register on to send a message, or to receive messages.

Mailinglist Usage Access Traffic Coverage
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


Keep in mind that in all your (inter)actions you represent the national organisation. You are responsible towards the other Board members, Foundation, our members, the government, and the general public.

In case of bad behaviour, Board members can be suspended, or demoted.

Legal matters[edit]