Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's 6-month project.
Part 1: The Project
In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.
- Roughly 10 edits to Commons, 100 edits to Greek Wikiquote, 500 edits to Greek Wikipedia, 1000 edits to Greek Wiktionary;
- Two one-off editors, an enthusiast and a dedicated Wikimedian;
- Two visits to local archives and library for a group editing project;
- Two outreach events and mentions in local and national press;
- 25 Facebook posts;
- A presentation in the Wikiproject Med session at Wikimania Esino Lario 2016.
But the real success story is this: Dimitris started out with an odd hobby of writing words on paper and using his five dictionaries to translate them into other languages. Evangelia posted images with quotes on her Facebook page. After six months of Wikitherapy, Dimitris has, as he fondly states, found an "occupation": as User:Jim Vallianos he now translates Greek entries on Wiktionary into 12 different languages, adding more with each new dictionary he acquires. Dimitris is helping Wiktionary evolve into a multilingual dictionary for Greek users. Evangelia is the most active contributor to Greek Wikiquote for all of 2016. They have added value to the Wikimedia projects. They have added value to their lives. And they're proud:)
Get a glimpse of the action in this video (Funk music by Kevin MacLeod)
Methods and activities
What did you do in project?
See Midpoint Report summary for background; much more has happened since then!
User:Jim Vallianos adds Greek translations in up to 20 languages! He has been active through November 2017, and has "good reason" when he doesn't edit for a while: Jim is now studying Journalism at a vocational school in Patras, Greece. He has stated that his acquaintance with Wiktionary and Wikipedia by means of the Wikitherapy program helped him define the course of studies he is happily pursuing:)
User:Ekosmatou is often the only contributor of content for days and weeks in a row! Active through December 2017, Evangelia also has good reason when she doesn't have time to edit: she is currently in the 10th Grade of an adult evening high school in Kefalonia. The Wikitherapy program helped her build the confidence and focus she needed to pursue completing her secondary education:)
User:Jim Vallianos has made over 1000 minor edits to Wikipedia, mainly in the form of correcting typos, spelling and grammar. His work has been appreciated by several editors and an admin, and their encouragement helps him keep it up:)
- Presentation at Wikiproject Med, Villa Monastero, 23 June 2016 (Wikimania Esino Lario)
- Included the Wikitherapy approach in my presentation at Celtic Knot 2017, University of Edinburgh, 6 July 2017
Even though the program was completed in June 2016, I will occasionally post on the Wikitherapy dedicated page on Facebook to keep the audience engaged. My latest post involved a personal endeavor to get more valid medical information in Greek on Wikidata and Wikipedia; Chances are that reaching out to friends who appreciate working for the common good via Wikitherapy will help me recruit new editors to participate in my project.
Outcomes and impact
What are the results of your project?
Please discuss the outcomes of your experiments or pilot, telling us what you created or changed (organized, built, grew, etc) as a result of your project.
- The Wikitherapy motto on the proposal page of this grant best sums up the result of my project: "Patients adding value". This was the first time individuals with sociomental problems were introduced to a different kind of therapy, more akin to developing intellectual rather than e.g. artistic skills in the therapeutic process. It turned out that Wikitherapy tapped a previously unexplored approach that was particularly successful with the participants who have a "thing" with words: a participant who turned the bizarre hobby of translating words on paper, to productive work in 15 languages on Wikitionary, pays testimony to this fact.
- Accompanying the participants to local places of interest (state archives, museum, library) helped consolidate the intellectual aspects of the therapeutic approach, and offered a good opportunity for strengthening bonds within the group.
- Notwithstanding, great care should be taken to direct sensitive patient groups to the right Wikimedia projects, i.e. "ensuring a good match" between the new editor's interests and the editing options available on the project. Even more care should be addressed in ensuring a safe environment for the editors to work in: it was shown that this is best achieved on the "minor" projects, i.e. Wiktionary and Wikiquote, as compared to Wikipedia itself. Those editors who wish to move on and enter the more potentially "risky" environment of Wikipedia can do so by starting out with small, minor edits - typos, spelling, grammar etc. - which are generally welcome on Wikipedia.
Similar conclusions were shared by Andrea Patricia Kleiman and her replication of the Wikitherapy concept in Argentina via the program "Wikiquote at the Hospital"
And now, for some media:)
Wikitherapy e-poster (Spanish) as presented at Argentina & Latin America Conference for Juvenile Psychiatry & Related Professions, 14-15-16 June 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Program: http://www.aapi.org.ar/archivos_descarga/201766184430-31.pdf )
Progress towards stated goals
Please use the below table to:
- List each of your original measures of success (your targets) from your project plan.
- List the actual outcome that was achieved.
- Explain how your outcome compares with the original target. Did you reach your targets? Why or why not?
|Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
|Two or three day center patients actively engage in Wikimedia editing after the end of the program.||Two editors remain active after completion of program in June 2016.||Achieved. User:Jim Vallianos has turned into a passionate Wikimedian and contributes regularly. After Wiktionary and minor edits to Wikipedia he is now ready to start his first article on Wikipedia. User:Ekosmatou remained active for 3 months on Wikiquote after completion of program, however since September 2016 she is continuing upper secondary school and needs time to get accustomed to her scholarly obligations before editing again. Hopefully she will soon pick up where she left off:)|
|Wikitherapy toolkit.||Two learning patterns, two mini-guides and a video.||Achieved. The midpoint report, learning patterns and video have already been used and/or endorsed by User:jaluj in designing a Wikitherapy variant in Argentina (see Grants:Project/Rapid/Jaluj/Wikiquote at the hospital. The final report will incorporate all that is needed to serve as a toolkit for setting up a Wikitherapy project in a mental health setting. Moreover, the two mini-guides - one for adding translations to Wiktionary and one for editing Wikiquote - can be (and have been) used in a "standalone" manner as handouts at outreach events.|
|Outreach to other therapy settings.||Wikiquote editing project started in Argentina, more interaction with hospitals and/or other therapy centers initiated.||Achieved and in progress. As mentioned above, the Wikitherapy approach has already "travelled" to Argentina; Moreover, Wikitherapy will be presented at a mental health conference in Buenos Aires in June 2017 (pending allocation of funding). Interest has also been expressed by mental health professionals in Athens but has yet to be implemented. Links shall be added at each new instance of Wikitherapy being applied in mental health settings.|
|Media coverage.||Extensive coverage in local media, mention in national media. More to come soon.||Achieved. The first public presentation of Wikitherapy was a 15-minute session at the event held at the local theater by the Day Center in February. Soon after, a mention was made in a national news portal. The presentation was well-received by the local media (see here and here). In June our event "Do You Speak Kefalonian?" was extensively covered and praised by the local media (see here, here, here and here).|
Think back to your overall project goals. Do you feel you achieved your goals? Why or why not?
We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across all grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the "Global Metrics." We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" as often as necessary.
- Next to each metric, list the actual numerical outcome achieved through this project.
Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for a research project which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."
For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.
|1. Number of active editors involved||0||none of the participants were active editors prior to the program|
|2. Number of new editors||2||As this project was carried out with a sensitive group of prospective new editors, added "people value" was more important than than metrics. In this light, the fact that only two (2) editors stayed on as regular editors on the Wikimedia projects after completion of the program does not mean the program was unsuccessful! Its success lies in the value they gained (specifically: Dimitris leaped from 5 to 15 languages translated on Wiktionary within the six-month duration, Evangelia was the sole content contributor to Wikiquote for days on end!)|
|3. Number of individuals involved||10||a total of 10 individuals participated in the program on a "come and go" basis|
|4. Number of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages||3||The group project involved edits to an existing article of social importance. The article had zero images before.|
|5. Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects|
|6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects|
- Learning question
- Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?
Indicators of impact
Do you see any indication that your project has had impact towards Wikimedia's strategic priorities? We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that IEG projects are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more that you think are relevant and share any measures of success you have that point to this impact. You might also consider any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned this project.
Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?
Wikitherapy was the first organized and documented effort to introduce Wikipedia editing as a therapy option. This pilot focused primarily on Wiktionary and Wikiquote, with Wikimedia Commons used in the beginning as an "ice-breaker" (see learning pattern). The participants has no prior experience in editing the Wikimedia projects; now they are fully aware of the "anyone can edit" mentality and two of them have made editing a part of their routine activities. Moreover, the concept was embraced by a fellow Wikimedian in Argentina and is now being applied in a mental health hospital. More multipliers are expected to emerge as the results of each project are published and their outreach expanded.
Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?
One of the participants found that the Wikimedia environment was very akin to his own personal interests (he has a fixation with words and reading). Soon after the first few sessions he started reading Wikipedia articles in his free time, and then he suggested we start each session with him reading the summary of the featured article out loud for all of us (which we did). Everyone looked forward to it: It was something that we wouldn't have gone out of our way to do if we were left on our own, yet such a quick and easy way to gain a bite of new knowledge with each meeting. I would strongly encourage anyone wanting to run Wikitherapy to try and assign this "task" to one of their participants:)
Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.
- Wiktionary mini-guide (describes how to add a translation to a word on Wiktionary, in Greek).
- Wikiquote mini-guide (describes how to add a quote to Wikiquote, in Greek).
- Wikitherapy assessment by Day Center staff (written by the social worker, this brief account shows the multiple benefits gained by the participants after attending the program)
The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.
What worked well
What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.
- Grants:Learning patterns/Matching newcomers to Wikimedia projects and activities: nurturing happy, passionate editors:)
What didn’t work
What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Wikisource. I used Wikisource only very briefly with a student at Argostoli Evening School, before the official launch of Wikitherapy at the Day Center; even though the student did manage to do some editing (proofing and verifying), it was very difficult to move forward for practical reasons. Regarding the Day Center, it turned out I did not have the necessary equipment and time to train participants in editing Wikisource, as 1) we did not have access to a scanner and 2) Wikisource has a much steeper learning curve than Wiktionary. (On the other hand, Wikiquote - which was not in my original plans - turned out to be a "revelation": very easy to navigate, no complicated mark-up, friendly community).
- Lack of editing devices. Next time I will make sure that there is a device available for each participant, whether desktop, laptop or mobile device. I did not get the chance to fully investigate editing on Android devices (i.e. smartphones and tablets). This is worth exploring, as mobile devices are far cheaper and when teamed with a proper keyboard, most PC functions can be performed seamlessly.
If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.
- Professional support. The support offered by the Day Center staff was invaluable to the success of my project. Wikitherapy was piloted in an established (since 2008) mental health center and frequent interaction with the psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker was vital in obtaining feedback on my work with the participants and taking corrective actions when necessary. For example, one of the participants was over-enthusastic in the beginning and we had to carefully monitor his reactions to make sure he didn't dominate the group or neglect his obligations to the other therapy activities that were concurrently taking place at the center. I was lucky to be working with an excellent team of professionals and the issue was soon resolved; as a matter of fact, the participant learned "to check himself" when he got carried away and this was beneficial to him and the group alike, in many respects (i.e. not only in respect of Wikitherapy)
- Safe online community engagement. One of my foremost concerns was the safety of my participants: I worked with a sensitive group of people, all of whom had a moderate to serious mental or social disorder. It is very important to keep this in mind when planning which Wikimedia projects to work on: the minor projects with less activity - which essentially translates into less community hostility - are an ideal starting point. We were warmly received on Wiktionary and Wikiquote, and the minor edits on Wikipedia did not bring any trouble. The group project on Wikipedia was also a success, as I was fully "in charge" of filtering the participants' input to a standard that would not be likely to be challenged by the community (see learning pattern for the problems we ran into with a participant's personal attempt at starting his own article). It is only now - four months after completion - that one of my participants is ready to try starting an article of his own on Wikipedia; even now however, I will arrange for us to meet again so I can guide him through his first steps to reduce the risk of his article being challenged.
- Safe offline community engagement. Another important consideration is protecting vulnerable editors against attacks from community members in offline settings. Though we did not participate in any offline Wikimedia events, I am seriously considering the possibility of organizing a trip to a Wikimedia conference or workshop sometime in the near future. I had a very didactic experience at Wikimania 2016: an unpleasant incident between myself and another Wikimedian and the way it was resolved by the WMF inevitably led to my losing confidence in the way the Wikimedia Foundation exercises its Support & Safety policies. Plan offline community engagement with extreme care and expect to devote a great deal of time in watching over the safety of vulnerable individuals as there is no guarantee that the Wikimedia Support and Safety policies will be applied in the way one would expect.
Next steps and opportunities
Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.
- One thing my participants all have in common is free time: Plenty of it. The pilot would not have been successful if it weren't for this one factor, and this can potentially lead the project to new directions, e.g. senior citizens and unemployed individuals. As such groups can often fall into mental disorder states - depression is frequently observed among the retired and the jobless - introducing a Wikitherapy variant can add value to their lives.
- Breaking Wikitherapy participants into editing medical content was an idea I discussed at the Wikiproject Medicine meetup in Varenna during Wikimania 2016. Editing Wikidata for medical terms was suggested, as it involves little effort in terms of writing and can serve as an indicator of whether a patient is comfortable about contributing in-depth content related to his disorder (i.e. Wikipedia articles, Commons images)
- An even more challenging setting in which Wikitherapy could prove beneficial is patients dealing with degenerative brain disorders, i.e. anoxic brain injury, dementia and Alzheimer's. It is often the case that such patients have led meaningful lives and despite their challenging condition, studies have shown that they can greatly benefit by engaging in activities related to their past profession or hobbies. By applying a variant of Wikitherapy they can be trained by caregivers to e.g. scan and contribute their photo archives to Commons (this is something I intend to do with my sister who was a photographer and is now brain-damaged) or scan their old book collection to Wikisource.
Part 2: The Grant
Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.
|Expense||Approved amount||Actual funds spent||Difference|
|Project Management/Training||1830 Euro||1440 training + 180 follow-up + 300 developing material = 1920 Euro||-90 Euro (put in extra hours to prepare participants and develop material for the local event in June 2016)|
|External costs (printing costs, tshirts, equipment)||370 Euro||319.81 Euro||50.19 Euro|
Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?
Confirmation of project status
Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Please answer yes or no.
Is your project completed?
Please answer yes or no.
- YES, although I intend to follow up with the original Wikitherapy participants on a less frequent basis (i.e. one meeting per week) as we have connected very well as a team and I enjoy spending time with them! Plus they're always up to something new :)
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being an IEGrantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the IEG experience? Please share it here!
The Wikitherapy project was an extremely rewarding experience! Working with the Mental Health Day Center patients was a joy: they loved the program and exceeded my expectations in terms of how enthusiastically they responded, and we have built an ongoing relationship that still holds strong, a year and a half after completion of the project. The staff of the center was friendly and supportive. Finally, Marti Johnson's encouragement and support was invaluable to the success of this project, from inception in Mexico City, to implementation in Kefalonia.
Where will Wikitherapy go from here?
I have already mentioned extensively that Wikitherapy has been well received at a local, national and international level (see local and national press links in report, poster participation in Psychiatric Conference in Argentina and Wikimania 2017 in Montreal). Given that Kefalonia is a small island, there is not much scope of application for Wikitherapy after the pilot; therefore, the next steps shall be exploring new venues in large Greek cities (e.g. Athens), in cooperation with health professionals and experienced Wikipedians who would be willing to train the former in editing the Wikimedia projects.