Steward elections and candidates overview

Candidate submissions for 2010 steward elections are closed now and it is possible now to talk about candidates.

Unlike elections for the Board, elections for stewards are not exclusive. It is possible that all candidates pass and become stewards, theoretically. If we are looking from the bright side, it is good, as we are able to get more stewards. But, if we are looking from the dark side, it is possible that we won’t get any new steward.

Steward elections are becoming expression of popular will, instead of expression of reasoning who could become a good administrator of [all] Wikimedia projects. I don’t like it, but it is our reality and I am choosing to act according to it.

We badly need more stewards. This year we approached steward elections with less stewards than we had last year before the elections. Number of very active stewards is lowering for more than one year.

Normal processes assume that some of the stewards will become tired of their stewardship and involvement in Wikimedia, while some other will increase their activity in other Wikimedian fields and thus become less active as stewards.

However, we have a problem. While Wikimedian community is maturing, while steward tasks are becoming more and more complex, we are in the “steward recession”.

Here is the timeline of stewards number:

  • 2004/04: first 8 stewards were elected.
  • 2005/05:
    • 1 stewards less before the next elections
    • 7 stewards immediately before elections
    • 9 stewards elected
    • 16 stewards after elections
  • 2006/01
    • 3 steward less before the next elections
    • 13 stewards immediately before elections
    • 9 stewards elected
    • 22 stewards after elections (plus Jimmy who was appointed)
  • 2006/12
    • 4 stewards less before the next elections
    • 18 stewards immediately before elections
    • 12 stewards elected
    • 30 stewards after elections
  • 2007/12
    • 1 steward less before the next elections
    • 29 stewards immediately before elections
    • 12 stewards elected
    • 41 stewards after elections
  • 2009/02
    • 7 stewards less before the next elections
    • 34 steward immediately before elections
    • 9 stewards elected
    • 43 stewards after elections
  • 2010/01
    • 12 stewards less before the next elections
    • 31 steward immediately before elections
    • 12 elected stewards needed to avoid lower number of stewards after elections

Period from the beginning of 2006 up to the end of 2007 — almost two full years — was the culmination of raising stewards number. 2008 and 2009 were especially hard years. We lost 19 stewards (9 stewards had been lost for four previous years).

Unlike the most of non-stewards are thinking, steward’s tasks are not much more complex than, let’s say, tasks of local checkuser, bureaucrat and administrator combined. And there are a lot of Wikimedians with such experience; as well as checkuser and specific steward tasks can be easily learned.

So, we don’t need a perfect person for this position. We need a Wikimedian which would fulfill the next minimums:

  • Candidate has to be reliable. And this requirement shouldn’t be read strictly: Was that person making troubles to the community? Was that person lying? If not, it is reasonable to suppose that candidate is reliable. If yes, did she or he change her or his behavior long time ago and proved herself or himself at some other position inside of the community? If yes, again, it is reasonable to suppose that candidate is reliable.
  • Candidate should have experience in administrating Wikimedia projects. Being an admin on some Wikimedia project is good enough recommendation.
  • Speaking more than one language is a very needed quality. However, stewards are usually doing tasks which don’t require knowledge of many languages. Technical knowledge, general Internet knowledge and basic intelligence are much more important than knowing many languages.

According to those principles, here is the list of candidates which I will support:

  1. Avraham: Highly involved English Wikipedian.
  2. Annabel: Highly involved Dutch Wikimedian.
  3. Billinghurst: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  4. Bletilla: Sysop on Japanese Wikipedia and we don’t have any Japanese steward, although Japanese Wikipedia is the second most visited Wikimedia project.
  5. Carkuni: Highly involved Japanese Wikimedian.
  6. Dferg: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  7. Jamesofur: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  8. J.delanoy: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  9. Jyothis: Active Wikimedian with knowledge of a needed language. (Malayalam language has more than 30 millions of speakers.)
  10. Melos: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  11. Mentifisto: Highly involved Wikimedian. Interesting language skills.
  12. Mercy: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  13. Razorflame: Highly involved English Wikipedian and Wikimedian.
  14. Sir Lestaty de Lioncourt: Highly involved Portuguese Wikimedian.
  15. Wutsje: Highly involved Wikimedian.
  16. سمرقندی: Highly involved Urdu Wikimedian, even the statement is not brilliant (he explained what had he thought at the Questions page). I would give him a chance.

I hope that all of those candidates will pass, as well as I hope that at least some of the rest of candidates would explain their involvement in Wikimedia projects better.

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~ by millosh on January 30, 2010.

3 Responses to “Steward elections and candidates overview”

  1. You were very optimistic to believe 16 would hopefully be elected. 🙂 It seems now, we really only got half of that.

  2. Oh, and I guess this is the lowest number ever elected since 2004, per your statistics. The lowest number with the highest ‘mortality rate’. 🙂 Oh well…

  3. I had to be optimistic 🙂 I wanted to see as many as possible stewards and do you think that it would be sensible to say: We need 12 stewards and I think that just 8 will pass? Before the elections.

    (BTW, You may see that some of the candidates which I wanted to become stewards didn’t pass basic requirements for stewardship.)

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