Learning patterns/Dealing with authorities for institutional partnerships
What problem does this solve?
Talking to the authorities those hold key to a very good institutional partnership which may result a project which benefits both wiki movement and their organization is not that easy to everyone. Many of them expects some rank or position we posess in wikipedia. Some of them may have a very bad impression regarding wiki movement itself. Mostly everyone is fearful of vandalism, they are terrified of getting their content ruined in wiki, where they think anyone can do anything
What is the solution?
- Let them know what their organization gets: Every partnership should and will be designed in a way that both the parties get benefited out of it. And important thing is we should stress on their benefits and the way their goals, needs, or spirit will be fulfilled with the upcoming partnership. Don't hesitate that it might not be humble or something else, this is needed in most of the partnership discussions. But be careful on this point because some organizations or cultural associations will share a large part of the aims and ambitions of wiki movement, they may not need this stress and sometimes this may hurt them too.
- Let them speak: Only give a brief introduction of your idea and about wikipedia, and then let them speak about their idea. This helps you to assess their understanding, requirements, strengths and resources and later we can frame a better and strong ideas, and better work plan. If we didn't get what they understood in our work plan, then the problems may arise in implementation.
- Help them other than the basic partnership: After all every thing is out of human relationships we have built upon. some minute things may not come completely under our partnership, but if those institution requests us in that instance, tend to help them and make the relation more live and intimate.
- Consider developing the article in wikipedia as per our standards: Before going for a formal meet with the organization, we've to check their pages in respective language wikipedias. We don't have to develop the article beyond the stretch of notability or other quality rules, but If the organization notability is good enough to create a page, or if you find any blunt errors in the page, then consider developing it well. Unfortunately some people think wikipedia as face of all wiki projects, they don't need to know facts and the way wiki works. So, to avoid a bitter argument try developing their page.
- Don't hesitate to differ: Some people may start arguing without little idea about wiki organization setup. They will have fixed negative thought about wikipedia with preconceived notions. If you have to deal with such people, don't hesitate to differ with their view point. But be careful we are there to build relation but not winning argument. If your discussion is heading to a no end point, then conclude it in a friendly way. Don't ever try to win an argument with them, but just try seeding noble mission of wikimedians or atleast wikipedia achievments.
- Wait and see: Don't be in a hurry to make it possible in an instance. So, after explaining the idea keep in touch with them, but don't pressurise. Make your strategy wait and see for a fixed time.
Things to consider
- There are several aspects in this learning pattern and not necessarily all of these concepts suits in every situation.
When to use
- Wikimedia France has created a partnership policy for their current or potential partners, based on good practices they have done or observed. One particularly helpful section maps out how partners and Wikimedia organizations can work together on typical projects such as Editathons, Wikipedian in Residence, Conferences and Trainings.