Grants:IdeaLab/Inspire/Archive/Outside knowledge networks/FAQ/en

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About this campaign[edit]

What is this campaign?[edit]

This is an effort to seek partnerships between the Wikimedia community and "outside knowledge networks".

When is this campaign active?[edit]

This campaign is for the month of February 2017.

What is an outside knowledge network? What isn’t an outside knowledge network?[edit]

Knowledge networks refer to any organization, institution, or group of individuals that can meaningfully improve Wikimedia projects. Improvements can include many activities such as adding sources to a Wikipedia article, uploading images on Commons, adding items on Wikidata, contributing source code, or improving our projects in other ways. In addition to galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs), relevant networks include volunteer organizations (such as Translators Without Borders), universities, cultural institutions, trade associations, expert associations, or community organizations. The networks can focus on research in STEM or performance in art, on indigenous oral history or on open knowledge rights advocacy or many other kinds of topics. If an individual or organization's focus does not serve to improve Wikimedia projects, or is not consistent with community expectations for contributing, then it’s not a “knowledge” network for our purposes.

I have never done outreach to another community about Wikipedia. What resources are available if I want to learn how?[edit]

It’s completely normal that speaking to outside groups or experts sometimes be daunting. No one started out promoting collaboration with Wikipedia and everyone learns it through practice. There are a lot of good resources and mentors from different outreach communities who have documented “what works” and will be available to help you succeed! Some helpful resources include:

What if I have an idea but don’t think I can implement it myself?[edit]

Maybe you’re missing the time or skills needed to make an idea happen. We still want your ideas! Others may decide it’s perfect for them. Also, if you’re an idea creator, you are welcome and encouraged to ask fellow contributors for help in planning and initiating your idea. Maybe a small team or group can accomplish what you envision. The Community Resources team is ready to help support you in coming up with a realistic plan that you can implement. Email Chris Schilling at cschilling(_AT_)

Why are outsiders or experts needed to improve content? You don’t need to be an expert to contribute to Wikimedia projects.[edit]

Expertise or experience in a topic is not required to contribute to our projects. You do not need to have physically traveled to Italy or written a thesis on it to improve the article on Rome. However, expertise holds potential for improvements in the completeness and quality of our content. Expertise can help identify high quality and low quality sources, identify gaps in content, and help resolve conflicts between sources. Experts often have access to new information relevant to a topic; they may have spent years organizing a community to work on a subject or initiative; and they may come from an area or demographic that our contributor community doesn’t yet represent well. Outsiders and experts complement rather than replace our amazing volunteers.

The Wikimedia Foundation and affiliates already invest a lot of energy and time into programs (like The Wikipedia Library, GLAMs, etc.) Isn’t that enough?[edit]

It’s important work, but it’s not enough. While each of these programs is responsible for outreach to key knowledge networks, we believe our community members have considerable access to a much broader range of people and institutions that we do not meaningfully engage with. With the right support, these individuals and groups have the potential to work constructively with community members to improve Wikimedia projects and diversify who participates in our projects.

Why should I propose a new model of outreach if we already have well-documented methods that have been proven to work?[edit]

If your idea involves a tried-and-true program such as content donations or edit-a-thons, you can certainly propose it during this campaign. We also want to encourage new and untested methods of working with institutions, communities, and experts. You might want to create a new and improved tool or process to upload images, or you might target an underrepresented group with editathons using a novel plan for engaging participants. This campaign is an opportunity to experiment with old ideas or pursue entirely different goals and activities that use outreach to improve Wikimedia projects.

Is this going to create “official” versions of Wikipedia articles or other content that are reviewed by an expert and then locked?[edit]

No. Our collaborative open processes are a central component of our movement. Community guidelines, policies, and processes about content will continue to determine what content should be included and how it is organized.

I am interested in doing outreach to a community. Can I propose first researching that community or developing training materials for how to reach out to these communities?[edit]

Research that builds knowledge about outside knowledge communities and how to work with them would be a very good and constructive outcome of this campaign. Outreach is about understanding the needs of potential partners or allies and helping them participate in our projects, while also working to meet their own needs. Building understanding about these groups, may be the first essential step to effective collaboration.

About Inspire Campaigns[edit]

What is an Inspire campaign? Why are you running them?[edit]

Part of IdeaLab, Inspire Campaigns are month-long events where we encourage ideas along a specific theme relevant to Wikimedia projects. The goal is to promote and elevate ideas that have been developed by participants that address that theme, and turn them into action. One way of doing so is through the use of the grant programs that the Wikimedia Foundation offers. These defined ideas can also be brought back to local projects for discussion, improvement, and consensus-building, and implementation. In general, IdeaLab and these campaigns are a good opportunity for others to gauge your ideas, for you to express your interests and concerns in others' ideas, build teams, and to revise ideas as needed.

Can ideas be directly implemented through discussion on the idea page?[edit]

It depends on the idea. Ideas cannot be directly implemented if it proposes a change in a Wikimedia project's policies or guidelines, or if there is a need for funding. To implement an idea, it usually must be brought to an appropriate place on your local Wikimedia project community, such as the Village Pump on English Wikipedia or the Café on Spanish Wikipedia.

Will grant proposals related to this Inspire campaign receive preference during review?[edit]

No. Ideas created through the Inspire Campaign will be submitted through the same grant channels as all other proposals. They will be reviewed using the same criteria as proposals not associated with this Inspire campaign.