Grants:TPS/Varnent/CreatingChange2012

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Information

This Wikimedia Participation Support request was funded in the fiscal year 2011-12. A report is available.

User name
Varnent
User location (country)
United States
Event name
24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change
Event Web site
CreatingChange.org
Event date(s)
January 25 - 29
Event location (city)
Baltimore, Maryland
Amount requested
US$1523
Endorsements

Budget breakdown[edit]

If I am able to attend Creating Change, some of my costs will be covered by my already existing relationships with organizations involved. Essentially my housing, food and any WMF representation related costs are all that exist. Travel, local and registration would be provided by others.

  • Accommodation: USD 140 per night (129 conference rate plus estimated taxes) x 4 nights = USD 560
  • Per diem: USD 71 per day x .75 x 4 days (already excluding 1 for combined travel days) = USD 213
  • Conference booth: USD 350
  • Conference meet-up: Estimated USD 200
  • Travel: Not needed for grant
  • Conference registration: Not needed for grant
  • Local travel for booth volunteers: $200

Requested materials[edit]

Will work with User:sumanah on appropriate WMF materials to make available at booth, meet-up and event.

Proposed Participation[edit]

About me[edit]

I've been an active wiki editor and sysadmin for several years. More recently I've been doing consulting work for primarily nonprofit organizations on a variety of services - including MediaWiki deployment and support. I'm also the founder and lead administrator of WikiQueer and the lead at the nonprofit incubator developing the project. I've recently been getting more involved with MediaWiki development community. Specifically developing social media extensions - such as AddThis, TweetANew and WikiShare - and enhancing documentation and support for extension developers (see mw:Project:WikiProject Extensions) and third-party wiki sysadmins (see mw:Project:WikiProject SysAdmins).

About me at the conference[edit]

My personal website expands on a number of my roles within the LGBT communities. I've served as the executive director of a national LGBT youth advocacy organization based out of Washington, DC (primarily funded by the US Govt and private grants) and have worked on staff at or as a consultant for a number of other local, state, national and most recently international LGBT organizations and projects. The organization I currently work for acts as an incubator for a number of LGBT projects and my private consulting firm has mostly LGBT organizations as clients. I feel that I would be a good representative of the wiki community at this event.

Full Disclosure[edit]

By the nature of my work "in real life", I wind up being seen as a representative for a number of projects at an event like this. While I will not be paid or compensated for my attendance in any way, I will inevitably be representing a number of different interests and projects at various times. However, the primary focus of my attendance at this year's event is increased LGBT participation in and support of wiki projects. That will at most include information on three wikis (Wikipedia and related, WikiQueer and OutHistory) and LGBT organization's wikis (there are 2-3 currently). Each of these projects run on MediaWiki software and each integrate with - and promote support of - WMF projects in various ways. Right now my primary interest is getting people to understand how projects like Wikipedia benefit the LGBT organizations, movement, communities and funders. My feeling is this will inevitably be mutually beneficial for all wiki projects with an interest in LGBT outreach or content. However, I wanted to be transparent it's not possible for me be there exclusively in a WMF capacity.

Planned Activities[edit]

  • LGBT wiki meet-up / reception
    • Opportunity for outreach to broader LGBT community about importance of wiki projects - highlighting Wikipedia as a primary example
    • Open to most WMF/WP inclusive/representative name for the event
    • Joint ask for donations for wiki projects present (most likely just WMF, WikiQueer and OutHistory) - at least 50% going to WMF
  • Vendor booth staffed primarily by WMF and enWP volunteers
    • Majority of table space dedicated to WMF project material
    • Other space made available for third-party LGBT related wikis
  • Representation at workshops, meet-ups and discussions related to use of technology - especially digital information and collaborative projects
  • Report back to WMF and specifically DC/NYC chapters on other possible LGBT outreach efforts in the near future
  • Outreach on possible WMF joint wiki fundraisers in NYC and DC per discussions already taking place with those chapters

Planned Collaborations[edit]

I have already spoken with representatives from the Wikimedia DC Chapter and they've agreed to help recruit volunteers. I will also do more continued outreach to English Wikipedia's WikiProject LGBT Studies for possible volunteers. Beyond that I will recruit volunteers from WikiQueer and other LGBT wiki projects interested in Wikimedia collaboration and support.

There will also be collaborations with third-party MediaWiki based wikis.

Please note that I do not live primarily in or near either DC or NYC and am not seeking funding for this via either chapter (which I support but am not a formal member of) - hence why I'm seeking a participant grant.

Impact[edit]

Contribution to Wikimedia Foundation Mission[edit]

Specifically I feel participation by WMF at Creating Change feeds into these strategic priorities:

Increase participation
Creating Change is the world's largest gathering of LGBT community organizers and activists. This crowd of community leaders, opinion makers, academics, historians, authors, bloggers and online activists are an ideal pool of candidates both for potential editors and spreading the message of the importance of wiki participation by their colleagues and respective organization's volunteers.
Improve quality
Many of the attendees are experts in numerous subjects related to LGBT studies. A fair percentage of the citations on Wikipedia for LGBT content can be traced to organizations and people attending this event. Their participation in Wikipedia offers opportunities for significant quality improvements. More likely, their influence on the participation of others will increase the chances of their quality LGBT source material being cited and shared.
Increase reach
In addition to possible editor recruitment, the organization and community leaders present have enormous influence over how tools like Wikipedia are both used and promoted by organizations and community projects. The 3,000 participants at the conference represent the leadership of organizations whose collective memberships include several million members; a fair representation of the LGBT communities in the United States.
Encourage innovation
In addition to promoting use of WMF projects, promoting the use of wikis increase the chances attending organizations and projects will deploy or contribute to wiki projects. The LGBT movement's contributions to online software have generally been done collectively and made available through open source and other collaborative projects. Encouraging organizations to share any new extensions or innovations they develop with other MediaWiki projects is both feasible and a likely outcome of outreach at events like this.

Anticipated outcome[edit]

While the exact benefits of successful participation are unknown since there has not been similar outreach to the broader LGBT communities by WMF projects. I anticipate that the outcomes will include at least:

  • Increased participation by LGBT academics, leaders and activists in WMF projects
  • Increased support of WMF projects by LGBT organizations and leaders
  • Increased visibility and usage of WMF projects by LGBT organizations and projects
  • Potential fundraising opportunities by wiki projects - including WMF projects/chapters - targeting the LGBT communities
    • Already in early discussion - attendance at an event like this will help solidify relationships between WMF and potential fundraising collaborators
  • Increased awareness amongst community and media leaders on the differences between WMF, Wikipedia and helping understand the various goals/purposes
  • Increased use by LGBT projects and organizations of MediaWiki software
    • Greater awareness of how organizations can contribute back to the broader MediaWiki wikis community
  • Recruitment of specific volunteers (names and contact info to be shared with WMF after event) to help with future LGBT outreach by WMF and LGBT wikis
  • Increased goodwill of WMF's and enWP's image within LGBT communities - which some may unfairly perceive as excluding too many LGBT people and organizations for perceived failure to meet enWP criteria
    • Better awareness of those policies and how to work past them
  • Paving the way for participation at Creating Change 2013 - possibly complete with wikicode and other enWP or MW related trainings/workshops
  • Recruitment of volunteers for WMF chapters and Wikipedia WikiProject LGBT Studies