Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wikimedia Board candidates: KingboyK

Rounding out today's batch of candidates is KingboyK. A rather inauspicious nickname for a thirty-four year old who goes by the name of Stephen Kennedy. I was surprised, in fact, to find out that he is thirty-four, as I would have expected someone with a nickname like that to be quite a bit younger. After looking over his comments, he actually appears to be one of the better candidates (which, when you think about it, is a really sad statement for the Foundation). But as an outsider, he has little to no chance of being elected.

Stephen's platform is more complex than that of most candidates; it includes a call for a fully democratically elected board and for the Foundation to take a more active role in cross-project coordination (something which it currently does not do at all). The apostrophic catastrophe near the end of his personal statement is quite unfortunate. After reading it, it's pretty clear that he's a well-meaning but underinformed editor from the English Wikipedia, volunteering himself in the mistaken belief that he could do some good.

Stephen was a late candidate, which means that his questions page is relatively short (notably, it doesn't have my standard questions on it). What questions there are he's mostly answered and his answers are not that bad. The part I found most interesting was Alison digging into him for suggesting that his experience as a student union board member is somehow incomparable to being a Wikimedia board member. And I must disagree with Alison on this point. I don't recall what school Stephen went to, but being on the board of a student union means playing a lot of complicated political games adeptly, while dealing with people demanding as big a slice of the money that the school gives you to play with. Frankly, sounds a whole lot like the Wikimedia Foundation; the only thing it's missing is the fundraising issues, but as the Foundation can't organize a fundraiser professionally anyway, his lack of experience here will not make things any worse.

Overall, I think he'd be decent, but he has no chance of being elected; he will get none of the Continental vote (he's a Brit, which is almost as bad as an American, and his lack of substantial participation on non-English projects also hurts with them) and not enough of the American vote to have a chance.