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Chapters meeting 2009/Topics

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List of topics
collaboration between chapters, fundraising, political lobbying, current activities of chapters, business, press & PR, legal issues, working with volunteers, cooperation with institutions & governments, public outreach...

Relationships within Wikimedia


Between chapters

  • Coordinating body/person between the chapters meetups.
  • short history of chapters (prepared in advance, then Q&A)
  • Relationship of National Chapters to Sub-national chapters. The legal and community framework underpinning that relationship. Witty lama 11:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Exchange of experiences: how-to presentations about projects that any chapter could organise (contests, WikiGrants, maybe WP Academy) with all the steps from start to finish given by the chapters that have organised such events.
  • Local partnerships (WMDE & CC, WM-SR & CC)
  • Best practices and lessons learned for Wikimania 2007 in Taipei from WMTW. In terms of funding, volunteer organizing, etc. Would like to see if any of them are applicable for Bali, Indonesia 2012 Wikimania.

Between the chapters and the foundation

  • Mike Godwin offered to answer questions about recent and upcoming changes in the chapters agreements and in trademark policy. guillom 08:38, 3 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    I've gotten lots of questions in recent months from the Chapters regarding chapter agreements and trademarks, so I want to make myself available to explain what we've been doing over the last year and why. And of course I would also be able to discuss general aspects of legal strategies and problems and how they affect the relationships between the Chapters and the Foundation.MGodwin 15:11, 3 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    I think this would be a very important point to discuss during the meeting. Anthere 10:26, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    Ditto. --pfctdayelise 06:39, 11 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    Agree also. Anders Wennersten 06:02, 14 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    Are you referring here to changes that will come up no matter what (ie, explaining) or about what chapters would like to see changing? Effeietsanders 12:44, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    I think it's likely to be both. Some legal matters ultimately require centralized decisionmaking, but some related matters could use Chapter feedback. In the interests of transparency, I'd like to explain what we're going forward with and why, but at the same time I would like very much to hear comments and criticisms and constructive suggestions.MGodwin 21:19, 14 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • We would like to be granted a trademark agreement with WMF.
  • Communication (or rather lack of it) between Foundation Board, Officers, Committies and Chapters. How to improve it. How to integrate all small, closed groups working "somwhere in the corner" - back into general Wikimedia community. Creating "Foundation FAQ for typical queries" and "service paths" for typical office actions. Polimerek 23:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • appointments of two persons to the board by the chapters
  • joint session with the WMF's Board of trustees about "the development of the chapters"
  • the subject 'Merchandising' - conceptual and logistical - is an interesting issue and a big one as well

Between the chapters and the community

  • Relations between a chapter and its country's local Wikipedian/Wikimedian community
  • How to avoid possible tension between a chapter and a local community of Wikipedian or other Wikimedia projects' editors?
  • What is the best way to achieve cooperation between the chapter and the local editors' community?



Public outreach & advocacy

  • Past & present
    • Overview of the current practices amongst chapters
    • Public outreach at the foundation
    • Overview of existing outreach tools
    • Which tool for which purpose? (recommendations based on our experiences so far) - fs and chapters
    • Sharing experiences and best practices - chapters
  • Future
    • Common projects
    • New ideas (including the "bookshelf")
  • Public outreach: How to approach different groups, e.g. universities; How to get people involved in editing or how to get the academic circle to participate in the quality control of articles?
  • The PR strategy - what strategy plans do we have for the next years? The awareness of the 'brand' wikipedia is quite high but the public don't know how WP works, who and what's behind it etc. (at least in Germany) - in my understanding we need to do more educational work - I would like to exchange opinions




  • setting up a group of members of European Chapters to organize a meeting (explaining Wikimedia Projects, or weighting on some reform affecting the projects) with Members of the European Parliament. Up till now we acted rather separately on the EU stage.
  • general a discussion workshop on European politics ; lobbying on a more national level
    Another European topic: government aid or European funds ([1]). Are there possibilities to take part in specific programs? What are the requirements or even better chapters' experiences?

Communication / Marketing

  • Promotional materials: best practices; are their useful, and if yes, for what purpose; possible cooperation in creating and distributing better promotional materials (keeping in mind that they should be in accessible formats for convenient localisation and adaptation).

Some items that might be of interest or are on my mind based on interactions with the chapters over the last year. JayWalsh

  • Big questions...
    • Best practices in a global public relations practice (JAW and chapters)
    • How important is it for all of us to be aware of our collective PR and media work? (JAW and chapters)
    • How can WMF help the chapters in their communications work? How would you change how WMF works? (JAW and chapters)
    • What do you think are the simplest and most important messages to share with your audiences?
  • Media work
    • A short media relations training opportunity (JAW and chapters)
    • How we manage potentially complex issues, or issues that might be perceived to be negative by the press (JAW)
  • Brand awareness (possibly with business development)
    • Why our brand matters / brand integrity / brand is about ideas, not trademarks (JAW, Kul/Mike, chapters)
  • Design
    • Building a visual identity guide - discussion about design standards and how to share our products (JAW and chapters)
    • Why print - how public outreach/participation/fundraising and others all rely on print products (JAW / Frank)
    • Our official face online: the role of our chapter/foundation wikis to communicate our work (chapters)
  • In Germany we do not only react to press inquiries but develop own ideas and projects, we are proactive to communicate quality, handling of online-information in general, community life etc. topics which could be of interest for media and/or public - a brainstorming to exchange ideas to reach new target groups could be good

Common projects

  • workshop with the chapters to see if we can work out plans to do /joint/ projects.
    multi-language events in border regions or international competitions
    collaboratively doing software development, press releases, conferences, and not per se multilingual (consider Germany and Austria/Switzerland or France/Switzerland)
  • plans for the Chapters "Year of the Picture"
  • Brion Vibber & Tim Starling will be in Berlin at the same time for the MediaWiki Developer Meet-Up. They may want to join a session of the chapters meeting about technical stuff.
  • Perhaps a tech discussion would be interesting. Not so much "hosting" but rather oriented "improvement of mediawiki software" or "toolserver" (how to make it better, more organised, more useful...) or even "sharing tools between languages" (in particular related to some very useful bots... which might disappear if the user maintaining them disappear, or which might be useful in other languages). It may be a "contest for the most useful bot in your language", which may lead to a discussion on how chapters may help support such initiatives. Anthere 10:36, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    Medium to big interest in this. Also: how can chapters encourage the growth of the [local] MediaWiki developer community? --pfctdayelise 06:39, 11 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • a workshop according to the motto: 'be bold' - where we could discuss visions and advanced projects (long-term goals, what will Wikipedia be in 10 years....)
  • track around handling of pictures, possible issues to discuss/exchange experience around
  • Regional cooperation/Chapter blocks
  • Strengthening connections for cooperation between chapters with potential common interests. Such common interests may result from being in the same geographical region (e.g. Oceania, the Mediterranean), from having similar legal system (e.g. chapters from common-law countries), or from having similar issues to deal with (low outreach, multilingualism etc.)
    "regional" chapters meetings in the future

Working with volunteers

  • Cary Bass offered to take part in discussions/workshops about recruiting and motivating volunteers.
    how other chapters work with their volunteers (ie, the IRL voluneers)
  • As part of this, encouraging members to stand for chapter Boards.
  • Identifying valuable contributors and putting them to good work
  • Demonstrating appreciation for contributions
  • Relationship between the Chapters and the Community
  • Integrating volunteer efforts on the projects with volunteer efforts with the chapters
  • Just a thought, when a new chapter is initiated everyone is excited, is there anyone at all appointed both WMF or by volunteer basis to check on chapters? Are they still alive, comatose, or need some kind of moral or emotional support (he he)Serenity.id 10:37, 8 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    We have discussed this issue in ChapCom and if and how we could adress this issue with an aim to inform the board if a cancellation of a chaper is wanted. So this issue would then probably lead to a dicussion of the role etc of ChpaCom which could or could not be a good idea. Anders Wennersten 06:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Funding & fundraising

  • Breakdown of money from membership fees / donations / grants / merchandise sales / events / other?
  • Concerted fundraising drives? How to avoid leaning too heavily on your membership?
  • Discussion about the WMF fundraiser and chapters' participation
  • Discussion about localization of the fundraiser to help people donate easier
  • Rand Montoya offered to take part in discussions/workshops about
    • the Annual Fundraiser. What worked, what didn't, how to improve on the next years.
    • Chapter Fundraising. What the foundation expects, what kind of help we offer to chapters, how chapters can fund-raise better. guillom 08:38, 3 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • donation channels that are inappropriate for some countries (e.g. Indonesia) ; suggestions of more local banners, linking directly to local bank accounts

the meeting itself