Learning and Evaluation/Evaluation at the Wikimedia Foundation/Grants lessons 2013

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Jackson Peebles/Video and Interactive Tutorials[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
The first RfC was extremely successful, rallying many editors around the idea and garnering substantial support for the idea as well as numerous concepts. There appears to be great enthusiasm for video tutorials. Furthermore, tool creators expressed great interest in supporting the objectives of this grant and provided cooperation in metric collection. Other experienced editors provided assistance in scripting. Equipment purchased worked flawlessly.
What did not go well?
Promotion of the project, once underway, was extremely difficult. The second Wikimedia-l and RfC failed to garner substantial input. Further, it is doubtful that the project is being used to its full potential, as it is difficult to find the project's outcomes.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
I would request more support from the Wikimedia Foundation in terms of non-financial support via the promotion of the videos in site banners and input into what videos should be created and their attributes. I would also request additional financial support in the form of a stipend, as this is an extremely time-consuming project.


Kannan Shanmugham - Malayalam Wikipedia/10th Birthday Celebrations[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What went well?[edit]

The idea of conducting and celebrating an important Wikimedia milestone such as the tenth anniversary went very well with its stakeholders. The set of events opened up an opportunity for the Wikipedia editors, readers, outreach proponents and well-wishers to meet together and share their excitation and vision. That the functions were conducted in a geographically distributed multi-nodal series of events facilitated more people to participate reducing their travel and time costs. Once again, Malayalam Wikimedians proved that significant outreach, media publicity and mass penetration can be accomplished by simple and cost-effective off-line activities.

Publicity & News Coverage[edit]

All the events were covered very well by print, air and online media channels. The news reports which came in multiple editions on several days distributed over a few weeks helped the brand identity "Wikipedia" or "Wikimedia" to get imbibed very well into the minds of common people who are exposed to the knowledge world mostly off-line and casually on-line. Subsequently, there has been a surge of activities, edits and new user entries into our projects.

Public participation[edit]

A team participating in a two-day knowledge interaction session (as part of Malayalam Wikipedia 10th anniversary celebrations in December 2012) hosted by the Palayathu Vayal school. This was a collaboration of local Wikipedians, forest ecologists and experts from other fields exploring with the rural and tribal communities of the village
Two veterans share the sweet moments of 10th anniversary Malayalam Wikipedia: K.Venu, the well known revolutionary social reformer of yesteryears offer a piece of cake to the most senior Malayalam Wikipedian (by age) during the EKM celebrations on December 24th.

The series of celebrations also brought up many individuals and communities who were so far generally extraneous to Wikipedia environment. At the Wikiexpedition and Wiki Knowledge Tour (Kannur), a group of people highly enthusiastic in environmental, biodiversity and organic agricultural issues joined us. Many of them has eventually become active contributors to Wikipedia or Wikimedia commons by way of subject matter expertize and multi-media uploads. We were also able to introduce Wikipedia to an entire village and a very special school there, predominantly belonging to the original ancient tribal community. (Although we were able to harness the funding for this particular event through other channels, this was originally planned to be conducted by the advantage of grant. We have used part of stationary and printing materials funded by the grant to help boost this event.)

Other events were also much exposed to the public. For eg: the EKM event was patronized by many members of the free software and open knowledgeware culture. Participation by some of the well known erstwhile political and social reformers brought the event to news media's limelight.

Participation of Chief Guests[edit]

We had not solicited guests of extreme popularity in order to add glamour and attraction to the functions. Most were academicians and people from knowledgeware and open source circles. However, several among them were eminent subject matter experts and reputed social activists. Unexpected participation of K. Venu was a pleasant surprise and an added feather to our day's success at the EKM program.

Better Event Management[edit]

We had not sought professional assistance from any event management agencies. Yet, the events were conducted rather meticulously. This was a good indication that our earlier experience in conducting various Wikipedia Workshops, Wikisangamotsavam and other outreach programs have helped us to gradually evolve and mature into reliable levels. We are now much more confident of planning, organising and executing events of much larger scales.

The distribution of events into several distinctly separate and independently organized events had mitigated the quantum of efforts to several groups and persons. A single large event for the whole community would have taken much more preparatory work and also overloaded a few persons much more. Besides, the participation would have highly limited due to geographical constraints.


WM ZA/Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

Better PR and media relations campaign[edit]

  • Compile a comprehensive list of media contacts beforehand
  • Clearly define who is accountable for handling this complicated task
  • The media is much different across the different provinces of the country
  • Spend more time trying to understand how to improve media efficiency

Implement the heritage site database better[edit]

  • In the current state, some found the database difficult to understand
  • Make it easier to obtain the ID for each of the sites
  • Possibly try to included software to take care of it
  • Try to recover information lost in initial database processing
  • Find a method of verifying coordinates (even if it is very crude)

Meet earlier with governmental agencies[edit]

  • Contact governmental agencies well in advance
  • Take budget timelines of these agencies into consideration
  • Plan for long delays at all stages of competition
What went well?
Collaboration between Organizers and partner institutions was at a very high level of professionalism, as a results we have received early commitments towards WLM-ZA-2013.
What did not go well?
From the lessons learned above it is clear that we need to build our capacity and organization inorder to be able to spread workload evenly amongst members.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
All above items on lessons that were learned.


WM UA/Programs in Ukraine 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1–2 paragraphs.
What went well?
Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 Ukraine was a success, cycling wikiexpeditions were discussed and approved as a form of wikiexpeditions, three more article contests were held and more are still expected, international collaboration is developing (weeks mostly), new partners were found. We have published three books during this period. WEP is developing, but it needs even more time and efforts. The buying of Grant Camera was a success too, as it allowed to picture events and notable people (1, 2 etc), press coverage was more than satisfactory.
What did not go well?
Wikiconference could have been planned better, with more people attending; wikiexpeditions were not planned regularly.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
There are a lot of things we would do differently now:
  1. Ask for reallocation as soon as there are changes big enough, it is not recommended to wait until the last moment;
  2. A short report (in English preferably) is to be submitted by a person whose expenses were reimbursed or who is responsible for something (including links to commons categories, publications, videos, other materials);
  3. 15 months are too much to cover in a single report, there should be some interim reports here (!). A great idea would be to publish monthly activity reports;
  4. A person responsible is to be responsible for the project to be done, but it doesn't mean that (s)he can use the money as they please, these things are to be discussed beforehand;
  5. A conflict of Interest is to be avoided, we had a very unpleasant situation, when the Organizational Committee awarded some of its own members with bonus payments. This situation was discovered and brought to light by the Auditing Committee, and the ways how to deal with the situation at hand were presented. The OC had no authority to do so, but the WLM contest was a real success, thus the General Meeting was willing to approve these payments and cover them from the organizational budget. This year's WLM OC has no authority to pass the borders of the budget and is to consult with the Board and AC if something is up. We believe that some CoI Policy is to be developed and communication is better organized (now we have a google group, a mailing list, a skype chat and we are trying to make public as much as we can ASAP). And this year's OC consists of 11 volunteers[1] and there is no OC chairman this year, thus people are not led into wrong belief that one person is enough to hold such a contest and its success is this one person's work. We do believe that installing some Wikipedian practices will do us (as the organization) some good;
  6. It is very difficult to measure the impact of a single WMUA project on the community, but it is very important, as only then it is possible to find out which projects are to be supported and which are not. We are to work hard on this;
  7. It is very important to diversify our sources of income, as relying only on WMF is not very good for the stability of our projects. The problem is that the Ukrainian firms are not getting much if they donate (no favorable environment created by law), thus getting them to donate is tricky.


ITOCA/Train-the-trainer South Africa workshop[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?

The response rate to the announcement was high with more people confirming their availability and interest than the number we needed. This meant that we were able to select more appropriately those we thought would use the training well. We had a well balanced mix of participants from academic institutions, public libraries as well as from the commercial sector. Everyone managed to have their own computer meaning they all had hands-on experience with Wikipedia. The interest during the workshop was very high and the participants’ knowledge of Wikipedia was very misinformed. Training on what Wikipedia is, brought so much positive feedback ,interest and a change of attitude towards Wikipedia.

What did not go well?

There were a few challenges with the internet connectivity on the first day. The backup internet as fast as it could have been, while the main source of internet was being set-up.

What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?

To avoid technology glitches such training workshops should in future be held mid-week starting from Tuesday to allow for setup and testing of all equipment and systems.


WM Wikisym/2013 WikiSym OpenSym Conference[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
  1. The quality of the research program was strong, in particular we are well positioned as a main, if not the main, research outlet for Wikipedia research. The usual crowd assembled, creating and sustaining bonds between the researchers.
  2. Switching from one track to four tracks was an experiment that worked out. The added overhead (multiple committees) was worth it, the hoped-for magic of interactions between these research subdisciplines happened (but can be strengthened).
  3. The operations of the event went well.
What did not go well?
  1. We are disappointed about the final number of participants. In previous years, we focussed only on wikis and Wikipedia. This year we added open source and open access. We believed this would boost numbers. We got a good international participant turnout, but very few locals attending. We don't really understand why. I believe our local marketing team worked hard, but ultimately, with not a lot of success.
  2. The open access track was supposed to be the open data + open access track but really was only the open access track.
  3. We had an open space room but could not hire an open space facilitator so not much happened in open space.
  4. We had two requests from local journalists but could not service them.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
  1. For next year, we'll focus even more on local marketing.
  2. Next year, we'll have separate track chairs for open access and open data.


WM CA/Start Up[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
Bringing the web server online helped us a great deal as it was the foundation of our activities. Teleconferencing services helped bring us together and hold meetings with a group spread across Canada.
What did not go well?
The medical outreach program, while relatively costly, did not produce the new members we had hoped. Attempting to reach a national audience was costly, we concluded a local geographic effort is more effective.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Focus on a local group effort. Take a lesson from business, focus on one market at a time.


Amical/Glam & outreach[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
We succesfully created a knitted network of Catalan GLAMs, Universities and Institutions that are working with Wikipedia at different levels, depending a mixture between GLAMs and volunteers commitment. It served as a mindchanger on the public opinion and now there is a quite spread common agree that collaborating with Wikipedia is a great thing to do. We realised that librarians are more focused on the idea of "public service" than museum proffessionals, and they have a bigger network feeling and work closer with citizenship. Museum served for expanding quality articles and libraries for connecting cultural & local communities. Our OpenData association is serving us for networking and lobbying with Public Administration. Regarding money: we did an austere management and asked to our GLAM partners to assume part of the project expenses.
What did not go well?
WikiSchools and Elder people project didn't work at all this year. Wikischools is a great project but was stopped by a government decission, so we can't do nothing, but on the elder people project our failure was the selection of elder people. Instead of contacting with Social Welfare on next editions we want to try with retired members of proffessional associations (Architects, Medicine....).
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
When you are starting a network you expend a big amount of time finding new dots (GLAMs to connect). We will probably focus more time, efforts and ressources on the commited dots better than trying to expand a network with low-commited members. Is hard to find the balance on this two points. We would plan more follow up activities instead of more workshops for newbies, for increasing the retention of new users. Regarding the Opendata group, it would be great to have had some more tech guys on our team, this way we could focus our efforts not just on free knowledge but on Mediawiki sites.


WM UA/Wiki Loves Earth[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
Featured picture on Commons
  • The lists of the natural monuments were obtained and organized as a database;
  • A great photo contest was organized - lots of people took part in it, and lots of nice photos were uploaded;
  • Useful bots were developed, and this experience will do us a favour in the upcoming Wiki Loves Monuments;
  • The Award Ceremony was organized, media coverage was not bad;
  • New partners joined, and we hope to continue working with them;
  • An exposition was organized;
  • This picture was nominated as a featured one and it was on the main page on 8 August;
  • A better teamwork shall be here for the WLM 2013, as some vital experience was gained by every member of the OC;
  • It is a very good idea to have the author of the logo to give the permission to use the logo for the contest needs without mentioning him or her[2]. It does help.
What did not go well?
  • The lack of coordination was greatly felt. There was no proper oversight over all the steps, and the volunteers worked as they pleased sometimes. Thus there were some major mishaps (a great delay in funding, for example, thus the volunteers from the organizing committee were to use their own money to buy the prizes and publish the postcards and calendars, have paper plates and cups). The responsibility is entirely our own, as WFM has given us the clear instructions about the payment procedures, we were the ones not complying with them on time. The rights and responsibilities are to be defined clearly and on time (not 'someone will do it' and 'in time');
  • The lack of transparency and openness of the decision-making process was greatly felt as well. Some decisions were made only by the project lead and the executive director[3], and some were made under the pressure to respect the deadline (with less OC members participating in discussion, leading even into thinking that some personal gain was involved)[4]. We had some long and heated discussions over these matters afterwards, and it did us good. To resolve this, we tried to make sure that OC members know plans of each of their colleagues. An open logo contest is also planned (akin to the WLM one).
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Right before the start of the photo contest, we had a thought that it would be great to have a writing-articles-along contest at the same time. It would probably be a separate nomination of the contest with its own prizes (it is always nice to see a picture used). But it was a bit too much to change the scheme, and this idea would be useful for the next time.


WM IT/Wikimedia Conference 2013[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
  • The "warming up" event with facilitators.
The attendees were divided in groups of 4-5 people each and they had to find a way to throw an egg out of a window and don't make it break; building some kind of "device" to protect the egg using only straws and tape (provided by the facilitators).
People really seemed to enjoy this moment, and all the several groups were really engaged by the task. We saw a lot of cooperation and a lot of smiles: people were really excited, and this definetely help the conference to start in a good mood.
  • Transportation
Transportation also was facilitated by the choice of place of the organizers: all the venues were situated along a metro line, and this helped a lot all the attendees, in reaching easily the place they were supposed to be.
  • Social events
Many people thanked the organizing team for their warmth (yay! :-) )
  • Very broad participation
For the first time perspective Wikimedia thematic organizations participated.
  • Venue and food
Feedback from attendees were especially positive on the venue and the catering. People like to lunch outside in the garden, which helped social contacts. Presence of wine has also been praised.
What did not go well?
  • Program/schedule
Last minute changes to the program caused much trouble both for organizers and attendees
  • Facilitation
The facilitators received a low evaluation in general, the reason for this was found in the lack of knowledge of our movement
  • Some problems with accomodation in the hostel
A room in the hostel got flooded during the night, causing obvious issues for the attendees sleeping in the room. The hostel staff has been a bit slow in helping people out.
  • Wi-Fi
The wireless connection at the venue had some issues the first and the second day of the conference. The organizing committee had the technician come in place and fix the issue for the whole time of the conference.
  • Cultural walk
Due to an unforeseen storm, the cultural walk has been canceled and thus an important socializing event had been missing.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
  • Program and facilitators
Spend more time on drafting the program and receiving more feedback from the community on it beforehands, this would also benefit the facilitators.
  • Logistics
Try to set a strong deadline for registrations and a deadline for until you are able to take care about flights
Publish the more detailed "How to get there" guides on meta
  • Social events
It's very important to have moments for people to chat and speak in a more informal way. Socializing events as the "Cultural walk" (canceled for the storm) should have a back up plan (i.e. a tour inside a museum).
  • Scholarship
There's the need to clarify more what is included in the scholarships to avoid unpleasant misunderstandings (e.g. having a scholarship and requesting a single room in a four stars hotel or similar) and lot of extra-work for the staff allocated on this task.


Wikimedia Slovakia/Wikipedia workshop within KAEST[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
The whole workshop went quite well. It was attended by participants of the conference KAEST divided into two groups by their computer and wiki skills.
What did not go well?
A few days before KAEST, the workshop leader for beginners, became unable to attend the workshop due to health problems. We saved the situation by shifting the workshop leaders and helpers between the 2 groups. Everything went well, but the opening of the 3rd planned group would be problematic.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
  • Materials in the group language - we received leaflets and brochures from WMPL and WMCZ but not all participant could speak those languages and we couldn't provide further materials in their languages.
  • Set some kind of homework (1 new article, edits in 10 articles, etc.) as a prerequisite for help from grant.
  • Prefer an aggregated grant for similar events, not individual grant for every single event (but it may be taken into consideration if the event is big enough).
  • Usage of WM SK bank account. We our fiscal sponsor's account and it was a little more difficult.
  • Not to measure the success of a practical workshop oriented to engage Wikipedia (or similar) editors by the number of new members of a Wikimedia organisation.
  • To be aware of hidden bank fees in advance.
  • Take good care of receipts.


WM RS/Wikimedia CEE Conference 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects?

The first Wikimedia CEE Meeting clearly showed the importance of the Wikimedia Foundation in networking the smaller communities. Thanks to the support from the Wikimedia Foundation and the developed chapters from the region, we succeeded to implement our aim of connecting smaller chapters and communities to give a chance for the development of new projects through the exchange of ideas and experiences. From the comments we received, it is evident that the conference offered a strong support to the smaller communities.

The organizers, lead with the idea to make this conference happen, did a good job in organizing an event with less failures, engaging in strong partnerships that helped make substantial cut-offs from the initial budget. They also intended to satisfy all the preferences requested by the attendees.

Did anything unexpected happen?

As is the case with most similar events, some minor unexpected things occurred, but they were quickly resolved by the organizers. However, no major unexpected things happened during the conference.

Would you do anything differently if you planned a similar project?

Given the fact that this was the first Wikimedia CEE Meeting, the organizational team is content with all the activities before and during the event. They provided pleasant accommodation and venue located in the center of the city, close to each other. All the preferences regarding the food were taken into account to provide it as requested in the registration forms. Besides the conference program, the schedule included some leisure and social events as well. We expect that the next Wikimedia CEE Meeting will include some novelties.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

By strengthening the regional cooperation in the countries of the CEE region, the Wikimedia Foundation gains strong and well-prepared partners to spread its own mission and vision. The engagement of Wikimedians from the region directly develops the Wikimedia projects in the languages spoken in those countries. It's also a good way to promote the projects in the regions where there is further potential for doing it. In addition, organizing events and implementing projects in the CEE region sends a strong signal that may attract many other interested parties and potential partners to take part and cooperate.


WM RS/Wiki Loves Monuments in Serbia 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects?

Having good organisational skills and devoted team members is the key to the success of the WLM contest in Serbia. Since it was organized in Serbia for the first time this year and in spite of joining this project four months later than other countries, we firmly believe that it was organized very successfully with better results than expected. Being limited financially meant that we had to allocate the funds in an optimal and responsible way.

It is very important to stay in contact with organisers from other countries, in order to overcome obstacles and find solutions to problems more easily. The help we received from the international team on technical and global organisational issues was greatly appreciated.

Did anything unexpected happen?

There was nothing unexpected in particular. However, the interest in supporting this project by governmental and public institutions was low. This can be partially explained by the political and economical situation in the country, which influenced the lack of sponsorships as well.

Would you do anything differently if you planned a similar project?

Since Serbia took part for the first time in the WLM contest, the priority was to build a strong foundation which is now to be upgraded in the following years. Sorting and structuring the lists of monuments properly and thoroughly required a large amount of time. However, having the lists completed, we can now focus on other things in WLM2013, such as promotion of the project in public spaces and interaction with people and potential participants.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

Both Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons were greatly enriched by this project. The quantity of new articles has grown in time and the quality of the existing ones has improved significantly.

Press mentions and media coverage lead to acknowledging Wikimedia Foundation and its projects in public, which will, hopefully, result in increasing the interest of new users.

Moreover, this project lead to interlinking Wikipedias among themselves and creating same articles in many different languages.


WM ES/Conferences and meeting for tenth anniversary of the Galipedia[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What went well?
It was very good the implication of the lecturers, facilitating our work at all times.
What did not go well?
We had problems with the reservation of the airplane tickets, if it is necessary to use this transport mean, it has to be scheduled much earlier time to avoid extra costs.
Other thing was that we had planned to reach three lectures from out of the Autonomous Community of Galicia but we can't do it because several lecturers did not answer to our request and others were not available in the dates of the event. Finally we could only count with Javier de la Cueva.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
What we would do different is that we would reduce the number of activities in order to have enough time for later discussion on them. Addionally, the conference should finish late, as assistants cannot usually stay till the end of it.
Other thing that we would do is to add a budget category for general administration expenses in travels, mail, telephone, etc. for organize the conference.


User:HstryQT - GLAMWiki US Consortium/Advisory Group Meeting[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
With support from the program, several additional consortium advisers were able to participate and interact, sharing diverse perspectives and experiences. Without financial support, this form of collaboration would not have been possible. Having the opportunity to be in the room with consortium members was invaluable. Those participating remotely provided valuable knowledge through their experience and broad knowledge. The immediate exchange of ideas and feedback gave me a fuller picture of what the consortium is capable of. It was inspiring and motivating in a way that I had yet to experience via virtual interaction.
What did not go well?
The only negative is that I wish we'd had more than one day to meet. I wanted the momentum of the day to carry on.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
As this was an initial meeting, much discussion had to be in the form of brainstorming sessions. As we have formulated clearer ideas, future meetings would have a more structured agenda.


Michel Castelo Branco - Wikimedians in Brazil/WikiBrasil 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

By the end of the meeting, we made a feedback session, and the main issues were reported here. Summarizing, some points reported were:

What went well
  • it was a big and diverse event, a good opportunity to meet other people and establish more links between us.
  • Friday was fun! We must keep trying and making such events with fun.
What did not go well
  • Low press coverage: we've had difficulties to find a venue for the event at that weekend, so we had too little time to organize everythings in time (flight tickets, accomodations, etc.) and we fail to give a better attention to the media. We can improve this in the future, by defining the venue and dates earlier, writing press releases and being more in touch to our contacts in the media. By the way, increasing our network and social media presence seems to be a strong necessity.
  • the wi-fi connection: in that weekend, the main internet service for São Paulo went off for an entire day. That caused us difficulties to provide online participation for those who couldn't get to the event in person, specially Wikimedia Portugal volunteers, as we love to have the opportunity to talk to them. Nevertheless, we were able to talk online with Anasuya for some minutes and even play a song for her!
  • Failure to meet the scheduled time, specially at the begin of the event, and after the lunch time. There was a suggestion to have the lunch at the venue in the future, in order to have more time for the discussions. The first presentations were too long, so we had to hurry up in the end of the day, in order to finish the discussions on time. We must plan a different model for the opening activities in the future. An agenda previously defined was also pointed as a suggestion for future: we choose to provide time for open discussions, sometimes suggesting some main themes, rather than including presentations or defining specific questions. Maybe we can balance this better in the future.


Abbas Mahmood - Creative Commons Community in Kenya/CC Kenya Formative Meeting[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
  • Getting a free venue is easier than asking for a donor to co-sponsor the event/venue.
What did not go well?
  • Promotional materials were quite expensive to produce locally.
  • Media attention was hard to achieve, especially given that the focus was on the Kenyan General Elections.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Work harder on media attention and getting more participants.


WM RS/Capacity building project for the first half of 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects?

This project certainly had its successes and contributed to the development of Wikimedia Serbia. Besides obtaining new members, we learned a lot about what kind of member and person profile is fit to be a project leader and manager. Better engagement in monitoring and realization of projects is needed by WMRS governing structures (both in cases when the project manager is a member of these governing bodies or comes from regular membership).

Did anything unexpected happen?

The first unexpected obstacle appeared at the very beginning of the project. The coldest winter within the last 50 years in Serbia (the state of emergency was declared) forced us to postpone the date of the first CB event, which further postponed other planned activities. During the implementation of the project, members responsible for event organization were changed several times. Another unexpected situation was the departure of the main project manager, which resulted in the backlog in both reporting and in activities.

Would you do anything differently if you planned a similar project? It would be good to have more precise statistics and better documented results.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation? A total of 200 people attended our CB events, which was good promotion for Wikimedia and its projects. By attracting new members, WMRS increased its capacity and with attained experience, grew our organizational ability to function and answer challenges. Our new members made it possible for WMRS to successfully organize WLM 2012 in Serbia.


WM US-DC/Events 2012[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
Overall, we were able to carry out the goals of the grant. The outreach coordination internship was successful in providing much needed assistance to Wikimedia DC while it was preparing for the Wikimania 2012 conference, and we are pleased by Lisa's work. The connections we developed with local institutions have allowed us to hold many outreach events—many of which were at no cost to Wikimedia DC. Additionally, the Embassy Outreach events were a great success, attended by many and giving us the opportunity to spread the name of Wikimedia DC to a new audience.
We have increased capacity in the DC region for organizing edit-a-thons and other Wikipedia-related events. Staff at the Smithsonian, University of Maryland, and George Washington University libraries are now taking more of a lead role to organize edit-a-thons, with Wikimedia DC supporting them. The chapter still leads in organizing other events.
For many of the edit-a-thon events, we had complete or co-sponsorship for lunch or refreshments, saving significant costs. The ability of hosting organizations to sponsor refreshments varies, with government organizations less able to than other GLAMs. We had based cost estimates on experience working with the National Archives and DC Public Library, which fall in the latter category.
What did not go well?
Our goals were a bit ambitious in relation to the time and volunteer capacity available during the year, with many folks in the chapter busy with organizing Wikimania. On the other hand, having an intern for summer was a great help.
Unfortunately, because of how our efforts were focused, we were unable to carry out editor training events to the extent we wanted. While we were able to hold the aforementioned events for the blind, we were not able to develop substantial documentation and training materials around those events. We are also unsure of the extent to which our efforts expanded the volunteer base for the Wikimedia projects. Instead of holding a series of introductory workshops, the edit-a-thons have worked well as training for new editors with the mix of experienced Wikimedians and newbies in attendance.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Our original plan for outreach events in 2012 were not based on specific goals or quality metrics, and we had no specific plan at hand for execution. We have learned from this experience and we are endeavoring to improve on our past work. For instance, our Outreach 2013 grant will be based on our Annual Plan for 2013, which includes specific, measurable goals. We have also developed organizational priorities for us, and we are working on developing a Programs Committee that will expand our organizational capacity and ensure that our specific goals are reached. We hope to reach a more diverse audience in 2013, and we are building an organization to do so.


WM US-DC/Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 USA[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
The contest was successful in increasing contributions to Wikimedia Commons, and the reception was well-received. It was one of the first national collaborations, of its kind. Wikimedians around the United States organized a series of smaller-scale "Wikipedia Takes America" events, in conjunction with Wiki Loves Monuments. On the technical side, we implemented caching with Varnish to make the website scale well, while keeping the hosting costs down.
What did not go well?
We got a late start in planning for Wiki Loves Monuments and were not able to handle as much of the organizational workload for the contest, as the chapter was largely preoccupied with organizing Wikimania 2012 in the summer of 2012. Several volunteers from outside of the DC region took more of a lead role in organizing, while Wikimedia DC provided technical and fiscal support. Unsure of how many submissions we would get but presumably a very large amount, it was a challenge to develop the *right* tools and process for sifting through the submissions and make the judging process easy for the jury.
We were also unable to organize all of the auxiliary events in the DC region that we originally intended to. Instead of having more Wiki Takes the "city" events, we held a series of less formal upload "parties".
Additionally, many of the prize-winners did not claim their prizes. This is possibly due to participants creating throwaway accounts and then not checking their emails.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Wikimedia DC's Board of Directors approved a Programs Committee and Event Coordinator position to help strengthen relationships with partners and capacity for Wikimedia DC outreach.
For future Wiki Loves Monuments or similar initiatives, we would need to get an earlier start in planning, and would have a better sense of the workload involved. More work is needed on tools and technical infrastructure to support such contests, make them scale better and be easier for local events organizers.
With a successful exhibition at the Press Club under our belt, for next year we will pursue more direct engagement with exhibition viewers, including soliciting feedback and recruiting new members to keep them continually engaged in the Wikimedia movement. We should also aim for a more prominent exhibition, with more engagement with outside press. We would also need to figure out how to more reliably contact participants in case they win so that they may receive their well-deserved prizes.


WM IN/Bootstrap Grant[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What went well?
Chapter was registered properly and we could comply with all the statutory requirements. FCRA approval was done so as to facilitate receiving foreign funds. Chapter was well received by the community as an entity to support the community and their efforts to take up the activities further. First ever Wiki conference was held successfully. Various academies and outreach events were carried out across the country. W10 celebrations happened across the country and that motivated volunteers for outreach and other activities/events.
What did not go well?
Our efforts to get registered with the authorities as a charitable organisation for income tax purpose have not been successful so far. This will have an impact on managing our grants, funds and will also affect the donors as they will not get tax exemption for donations.
Lot of turnaround in the EC has its own impact in the handling of various projects. Continuity in the project work and thought process gets hampered because of this. Lack of volunteers in some geographies hamper taking up/running of the projects. Given that we have limited volunteers, it is difficult to measure the success of any of the outreach/academies kind of activities.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Now that we have experience, we will plan activities in a better way. We will try to synchronise grants, financial year end (regulatory bindings) with each other so that planning and utilisation of funds can be done in better way. Expenses on staff and office will be properly included.


WM CA/In person meeting[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects?
Spend time trying to find a perfect place to meet. If possible, you should find somewhere that allows loud conversations, is open late, allows people to stay for a long time without continuously buying things, has table space for writing and computers, and has plugs and wifi. Also, if you want more than just the most keen volunteers to come, advertise the event early.
What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?
This meeting helped establish the formal organization of Wikimedia Canada, so it was foundational to our future projects that will benefit these missions. We also did early brainstorming for projects working towards these goals that were later continued to be developed online and in our home cities, such as GLAM projects and development of American Aboriginal language wikis. We discussed strategies to significantly increase outreach on local levels, and create strong local organizing groups in each board member's city similar to the ones that exist in Quebec.


WM NO/christmas seminar and wlm ceremony[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
It was very successful to place a little extra resouces into hiring a suitable and welcoming location, that supplied a feeling among wikipedians of being celebrated and belonging to something worth celebrating. Investing in hotel and travel for WLM 2012 winners secured that every single winner who lives in Norway appeared, and openly expressed that they felt appreciated and motivated to take part next time aswell.
What did not go well?
Media attention was hard to achieve, we got local newspaper stories on silver medalist (Hognerud) and international finalist (Halvorsen), but no national story or substantial coverage on the winner (Wright), in spite of effort to acquire attention. This was probably also becaue the event was on a Friday, which is the hardest day to get media attention - but was necessary to choose because otherwise people wuldn't had been able to skip work or studies. All in all, the WLM has been hard to get buy-in for among media in Norway.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
Work harder on media attention.


WM Wikisym/2012 Wikisym Conference[edit]

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? There are two levels of lessons to be learned from Wikisym 2012. The first is logistical, and the second strategic. On the logistical side, it's important to think about timing for a conference like this, as we're dependent on academic attendance for the bulk of the meeting. That means our time in late August was difficult, as people were preparing for the start of their new semester. It also conflicted with some European holiday planning. Co-hosting with another related meeting like Wikimania, or in a major U.S. city since the bulk of participation (though certainly not all) might increase attendance.

The second issue is strategic, which has to do more with how to convincingly integrate practitioners and researchers. Some attendees this year noted a heavy focus on Wikipedia research. While there were certainly other intellectual contributions to the meeting, it's true Wikipedia related research and demonstrations dominated. Part of Dirk Riehle's plan for the next year Wikisym/Opensym should help with these integration issues. For a heads-up of how we are turning these lessons into reality, see the 2013 conference concept.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation? The main benefit of this meeting is that it draws together a group of people who are on the forefront in research and practice that attempts to solve known, persistent issues in innovative and sustainable open collaboration. Dealing with newcomer integration, ensuring quality over multiple language versions of Wikipedia, handling conflict and new ways of understanding processes in complicated open collaboration systems were all part of the research and tool demonstrations being presented at this meeting. The papers and demos resulting from this can be incredibly informative for a wide range of projects that are central to the WMF mission. In addition to the concrete products of papers and demos, this meeting develops and continues to foster a community of bright, engaged scholars and practitioners who will in turn continue to develop their work in the areas that are of interest to WMF.

During the grant proposal process, we had a long discussion about open publishing and the conference. We found something of a middle ground in allowing users to publish both in the ACM digital library (closed, with a paywall) but also on their home pages, which is consistent with ACM policy, and have held a copy on our website. While this isn't true open access, it makes the content available to the world of researchers and practitioners, so seems to be consistent with the spirit of open access. In 2013, we are taking further steps to allow for open access.

From a practical perspective, WikiSym provides an academically acknowledged publication outlet that remunarates researchers, academically, if they get their papers published, for their work. A pure user conference without peer review and the (love it or hate it) bells and whistles of academic procedure cannot achieve this. Thus, we view WikiSym as an important part of the Wikipedia research community and are proud to be covering that angle.

References[edit]

  1. 12 have registered, but 1 is not taking part, as he has his family issues
  2. It sounds like this: As the author of the logo I declare that there is no need to use or indicate the link to the license when using the logo in relation to the WLE contest. You may copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission and without mentioning my name (or my work as the source of your devative work(s))
  3. the rest of the OC found out that the day of the Awards Ceremony was changed from the contest website, for example, no discussion was started before
  4. The initial logo of the contest was developed by user:antanana, as a volunteer, as an example. It was done on a whim and it was never intended to be used as a real logo - it was no good for printing purposes, for example. While preparing a grant application, I have asked a few people how much would cost making the logo look good, the answer was 100-150 USD. Finishing the logo was included into the "Additional Prizes & Awards" budget line. Because of the money issues, we started looking for the designers really late, with work needed to be done really quickly, as the Awards Ceremony was approaching and publishing was to be done in time for the winners to get the materials. Only one designer was available, and the choice was really limited