Step-by-step user group creation guide
|Affiliations Committee portal|
This document is intended to be an easy to read introduction into the process of creating a Wikimedia user group. This guide will describe the basic situation of a user group that is not legally incorporated. If you would like to legally incorporate your user group, please contact the Affiliations Committee for guidance and take a look at the chapter creation guide.
Please note that in some circumstances it may be possible (or necessary) to go about user group creation in some other way. You might want to consult the Affiliations Committee about variations in procedure.
As user groups are a new type of entity, the road you will take might differ from the recommendations here: we would love to hear on the talk page about your experiences and advice to those who come after you!
Step 1: Gather the people
At the very fundamental level, user groups are about people – a group, which wants to contribute to and support the Wikimedia projects as a whole in a way which includes other means than editing.
There is no hard minimum for establishing a user group; gathering at least 3 people is required, but we would recommend having at least 10 people in your group.
Step 2: Develop your goals and structure
When you have gathered enough people interested in setting up a user group, you should start a conversation on your group's goals and structure. Try these questions as inspiration:
- What do you want to accomplish as a group? What is your mission? E.g. do you want to have a monthly meetup, do you want to reach out to schools, or to museums?
- What kind of activities do you want to engage in (e.g. outreach, fundraising, public relations, publishing, meetups)?
Step 3: Set up a wiki page for your group
Once you have a group of interested people, it is time to document who you are and to set up some means of communications. For the external world, you need to designate a contact person, who can be identified to the Wikimedia Foundation; for your own group you should think about setting up a wiki page where people can join and perhaps set up a mailing list to discuss your projects.
Naming of user groups
As you set up your pages on the wiki, you will be faced with the need to give a name to your user group. Generally, creative and descriptive names are encouraged, however here are a few examples that might help your thinking:
- Wikimedia Community User Group _____ : An independent club of Wikimedia volunteers
- Wikimedians of _____ User Group : an independent group of volunteer Wikimedians
- Wikipedians of _____ User Group : an independent group of volunteer Wikimedians
- MediaWiki Group _____ : an independent group of volunteer Wikimedians
- Wikipedia Editors for _____ : an independent group of volunteer Wikimedians
- Any name that does not involve a Wikimedia trademark, such as "Wiki User Group _____" or "Esperanto kaj Libera Scio"
You are free to choose different names not in the list above, the above names, including the tagline were designed with the aim to protect the members of the user group from misdirected lawsuits and to ensure that the Wikimedia trademarks are used in a non-confusing, accurate manner.
In all cases the Affiliations Committee is tasked with ensuring that the name matches the four criteria suggested by the WMF's legal department in order to protect the movement and the members of the user groups. In case of doubt, please contact the Affiliations Committee to find a good name.
Step 4: Apply for recognition
Once you have the group, the wiki page and the big idea on what you want to do, contact the Affiliations Committee and apply for recognition. The Committee will ask you some questions, review your applications and then will submit them to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation to recognize your group as an official Wikimedia User Group. Recognition might be time-based or continuous. Time-based recognition can be renewed if the group remains active, and continuous recognition will be suspended or removed if a group becomes inactive.
Step 5: Go!
All done! You can now focus on your day-to-day business and promote Wikimedia projects in your country.
If you want some hints about possible projects, you can always look at what other organizations have accomplished or are currently doing.
Remember, you can always ask the Affiliations Committee as well as other organizations for help, and the Wikimedia Foundation is happy to help with grants. On the other hand, we would also like to hear from time to time about your activities; you can publish public reports or contact the Committee privately by e-mail.