Grants:IEG/Community engagement in Portugal

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Community engagement in Portugal

project contact:



GoEThe; Nini00


Promote engagement of the Portuguese community in Wikipedia, by demystifying the editing process and other barriers to participation.

engagement target:

Portuguese Wikipedia

strategic priority:

Increasing Participation

total amount requested:

24,000 USD

2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

While participation in Portuguese language Wikimedia projects seems to be doing reasonably well, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate a decrease of participation from people living in Portugal. In 2011, some news indicated that editors from Portugal were "going extinct"[1]. Although a superficial search indicated that the situation was not as bad as portrayed (see incomplete and unsystematic listing of active Portuguese Wikipedians), there are clear concerns that an once active local community will dwindle down to oblivion.

Possible causes for this decline have been proposed, and include:

  • Difficulty in understanding the wiki-syntax. This is a common problem for all Wikimedia projects and all languages and will hopefully be solved or at least improved by the adoption of the Visual Editor;
  • Better quality of English version projects, making it more pleasant to edit in English. While it is true that just a couple of decades ago, most people in Portugal did not speak English, younger generations can usually read and write English, and these are probably the most active contributors. However, I have no accurate metrics regarding the number of active Portuguese Wikipedians in en.wikipedia besides en:Category:Portuguese Wikipedians that currently lists around 170 Wikipedians;
  • An overly-aggressive community. This is also a common complaint of many large sites;
  • Perceived and real differences between written Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil;

This has been extensively discussed both in Portuguese Wikipedia and Wikimedia Portugal, and some of the ideas below have stemmed from discussions within the Portuguese Chapter. We believe that a systematic approach will be beneficial to attracting more Portuguese to the project, by giving a Portuguese voice to tutorials, by providing good local support by the existing Portuguese (and Brazilian) community, and bringing Wikipedia closer to its Portuguese audience.

Project goals[edit]

The goals for this project are to address some of the known reasons for a decreased participation from Portuguese individuals on Wikimedia projects. This includes:

  1. Creation of video tutorials explaining basic wiki syntax, how to use and insert references, etc. All videos would be in the European standard of Portuguese as to not alienate potential editors by using what could be perceived as an "exotic" accent. In order to avoid that videos will be outdated when the Visual Editor is released on Portuguese Wiki, videos will be made using either the Portuguese language interface at English Wikipedia (where the Visual Editor has been deployed) or, if available, with a test version on the Portuguese Wikipedia.
  2. Actively engage Portuguese contributors editing in other language versions of Wikimedia projects, such as English Wikipedia, emphasizing the need for higher quality content in local languages. People should be able to access quality knowledge in their native language, as much as possible. This will be done in the form of a survey.
  3. Promoting content creation about Portuguese localities, heritage, history, landscapes, fauna and flora, and other subjects that would be of interest to local communities, bringing Wikipedia closer to editors / end-users.

Project plan[edit]


Scope and activities[edit]

The scope of this project includes the production or adaptation of video tutorials explaining the editing procedures in Wikimedia projects, using the local language, Portuguese as spoken in Portugal; contacting Portuguese editors already participating in Wikipedias in languages other than Portuguese to understand why they are not engaged in the Portuguese-language version and demonstrate the importance of having content available in our local language; organize and advertise Collaboration Drives to increase content creation on subjects close to Portuguese hearts, such as local culture, history, heritage, local fauna and flora, etc.; distribute Wikimedia merchandise to participants; and improve the communication system available for new editors.

Tools, technologies, and techniques[edit]

Most of the project will be focused on outreach to Portuguese communities. Communication tools will be essential, reliying heavily on online communication, such as email, voip and other methods, but also telephone and face-to-face meetings if necessary. For the survey of Portuguese editors (and potential editors), access to Sitenotice or some other form to communicate with editors (restricted geographicaly to Portugal) would be extremely useful to atract respondants. In order for the video tutorials to stay updated, it would be extremely helpful to have assistance from the development team working on the Visual Editor, to coordinate the launch of the new editing interface in Portuguese with the availability of the videos. For the Collaboration Drive it would be nice to have Wikimedia merchandise to distribute to participants and organizers, as a token of appreciation.


Total amount requested[edit]

24 000 USD

Budget breakdown[edit]

Number Task Participant Cost (USD) Explanation
1 Video production Contracted to professional video editor / or done by participants 2000 If grant is awarded, professional-looking videos can be produced. Otherwise, lower quality videos can still be produced.
2 Media campaign All participants 5000 For running ads in national newspapers and radios, and printing posters and flyers to post in universities and Town coucils
3 Contribution Drive (CD) organization GoEThe 2000 Telephone and travel expenses for organizers (and perhaps juri) to meetup and coordinate efforts; distribution of awards to participants
4 Wikimedia merchandise for CD participants Depending if WMF will provide this directly, cost would be redundant.
5 Editor Survey GoEThe, Nini00 0
6 Project management (stipends for participants) All participants 15000

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

Primary target will be the Portuguese population, where most of the outreach will be conducted. Project will potentially impact all Portuguese-speaking countries by the production of quality content in Wikimedia projects. Portuguese is one of the largest languages in the world, being spoken by over 200 million people.

The intended increase of participation with many new editors will also impact the existing community. Initially, there is a risk that a flood of newcomers would upset the current community, but hopefully this would be transient and the new editors would integrate the community without problems. Effort will be made to keep the community informed in due time of any expected surge of activity, and we will attempt to diffuse any stressful situations the best we can. Overall and in long term, I believe that the benefits will outweigh more temporary effects.

Fit with strategy[edit]

The primary objective of this grant proposal is to increase participation of the Portuguese general public. This would be achieved by improving community health, by reducing perceived and real barriers to participation, and a lot of outreach activities.


After the video-tutorials are completed, the text tutorials could be reviewed to ensure a good integration and that they are up-to-date with improvements in software.

It would be a good idea to follow the new editors that will register for the Contribution Drive and see if they continue to contribute after the Drive is finished. The CD itself could become a regular activity, calling on new people to contribute on their topics of interest, arranging for collective edit-a-thons in partnership with public libraries or universities.

Measures of success[edit]

  • Complete video-tutorial series covering basic and advanced topics about editing Wikipedia, in Portuguese from Portugal.
  • A high participation from new editors in the Contribution Drive. Wiki Loves Monuments in 2011 had the participation of more than 200 contributors from Portugal, many of which were new editors. Since writing articles has a higher threshold than contributing a picture, we expect more on the lines of 50 new contributors.
  • A high conversion rate of new editors into regular contributors.


  • GoEThe - I am a Wikimedian since 2006, focusing mainly on the Portuguese Wikipedia. I was sysop in 2008 and then again in 2010-2011, part of the second and last Portuguese Arbitration Committee in 2010, and a Bureaucrat in 2011. I am also a founding member of Wikimedia Portugal, the Portuguese chapter of Wikimedia, started a collaboration between Commons and the IUCN red list (see Commons:IUCN Red List and have contributed over 35 thousand edits to Wikimedia projects. I also assisted in the organization of the Portuguese stage of Wiki Loves Monuments in 2011 and organized the 10th Anniversary Lusophone Wikipedia Contest. I have a PhD in Biology.
  • Nini00 - I am a new Wikimedia Portugal member, focusing on the Portuguese Wikipedia since 12th September 2012 only. I have "survived" the first hardest 3 months at Wikipédia (asking myself why I was loosing my free time on it). At this moment I have collaborate on 1317 articles and I already got my first featured article. I fight for a better help to new editors, less aggressive messages to them, better articles in a good Portuguese language. I'm sure that in a very near future our children will be learning at Wikipédia and I wish to give my contribute to the articles quality, in content and in Portuguese language. I'm cardiologist and I write medicine articles mainly, working actively on Medicine Project.


Community Notification:[edit]

Please paste a link to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions, here.


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • --Tom (talk) 18:11, 5 February 2013 (UTC) As a long term contributor of the Portuguese Wikipedia and Wikimedia Brasil, I believe if we can count with the help with our Portuguese friends, that would be really appreciated. Some volunteers from Portugal habe already helped considerably the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil and I think they can help a lot the Brazil Catalyst Project plans. We should try to involve all Portuguese speakers communities to strengh the Portuguese Wikipedia community as a whole.
  • Vinicius Siqueira (talk) 17:28, 9 February 2013 (UTC) I strongly support this initiative to bring new editors to pt.wikipedia which is undergoing a decrease in the amount of active volunteers. All the users involved in this project are very reliable and I have no doubts that the outcome of this effort will be greater than we imagine. The Portuguese community engagement walks side-by-side to the efforts undertaken in Brazil and comes forward with this terrific project.
  • Manuel de Sousa - A Wikipedian since June 2005, focusing mainly on the Portuguese Wikipedia. I was sysop in 2008-11 and a member of the first Portuguese Arbitration Committee in 2009-10. I have contributed with over 21 thousand edits to several Wikimedia projects. I was a founding member of Wikimedia Portugal, the Portuguese chapter of Wikimedia, and I am currently its president. I have been directly involved in all major projects devolved by the chapter and have been representing WMPT in events such as Wikimania, Iberocoop and Wikimedia Conference. I have a graduation in Historical Sciences and additional training in Marketing and Communication. I strongly support this initiative, but have to time available to commit myself as a fulltime participant.
  • OTAVIO1981 (talk) 17:31, 15 February 2013 (UTC) I'm a wikipedian since april 2007, campus ambassador and eliminator (a portuguese userright) since november 2011. I have almost 20 thousand edits in wikipedia and I can assure you that GoEThe is a highly valuable and trusted user in wikipedia. I didn't have the opportunity to known Nini00 but I believe she is a warrior because she survived the first three months as a very active editor. I believe such grant is very welcome to all lusophone community because we don't have video tutorials made specifically to portuguese wikipedia and I haven't see too many translations of english videos that was already made. I'm confident that GoEThe and Nini00 will be able to discuss with Ocastro and Ezalvarenga a video tutorial that will be useful to WEP and any other initiatives that are going on. Engage portuguese community will be achievable for two basic reasons: a small geografic area to cover and a wikimedia chapter already established that can support activities at colleges. Good luck to both at this project.
  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.