Some people, notably Kelly and Danny, have also had some comments about how money is being spent by the foundation. I also have my concerns, although I'm not knowledgeable enough to point out any specific problems. In the last fund raiser I scraped together 100$ to donate, and that was not without serious consideration or consequences. I gave up lunch on more then one occasion when money started getting tight. Consider the case where the foundation allowed donors to specifically earmark their donation money for one or more of the following uses:
- Server operation and maintenance (includes salaries for devs and IT)
- Server expansion and hardware purchase
- Administrative (includes employee salaries and benefits)
- Logistics (expenses, such as travel, for the board)
- General use
Speaking of Wikimania, there has been a lot of fuss about it's location: Alexandria Egypt. And I mean A LOT of fuss. It turns out that Egypt isn't a particularly safe place, and that the Egyptian government and people don't share in the same values that your average Wikimedian does. An organization that champions freedom of information and expression is holding a conference in a land where people don't have the basic rights of free speech, freedom of expression, or freedom of religion (unless you are one of the three religions allowed by the state). It also turns out that not all Wikimedians are straight judeo-christian muslim males, and so your average conference goer is going to find themselves in a very uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation. The next time somebody suggests "let's hold our annual conference in place where our most cherished ideals of freedom and diversity are forbidden by law and punishable by jail time", everybody needs to take a step back and reconsider our priorities.
Maybe I'm an old fashioned capitalist, but I think that the only real voice a person has is their actions. If you don't agree with the venue for this year's Wikimania, as I don't, then simply don't go. People can complain all day long about the security and safety issues, but if everybody goes to Wikimania, and it turns out to be a grand success, then no lessons will be learned and no changes will be made. I'm not going to say a single disparaging thing, not on foundation-l and not on meta, because words are not going to fix this problem. When Wikimania rolls around, I'm going to be safe at home, editing Wikibooks and focusing on what's really important: the content.