Grants:PEG/Marc LaPorte - Wikimedians in Boston/RecentChangesCamp2011 Boston/Report
- To provide space where wiki communities of various types can interact. These communities include commercial, non-profit, government run, educational, individual and fansite related wikis.
- To discuss concerns that the wider wiki community faces. These issues include:
Description of actual activities:
The event was held over 3 days, as planned. We used the OpenSpace Technology, allowing the attendees to set their own agenda . Among other thematics, participants reflected upon wikis, self organizing, maintaining communities, translation issues, Using wikis in government. Wikis for education, Cross Cultural Collaboration, Improving female participation in the wiki(pedian) community, How to get commercial interests to edit Wikipedia in a way that does not compromise Wikipedia's ideals.
What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?
Finding a place has been a difficult thing to do, and we ended up with a very beautiful one. But sometimes, too much of a beautiful set-up make the participant feel shy or even unconfortable, as we were perhaps not able to make the space our enough. We have learned from that experience and want to build upon it.
What went well
- The small setting made people feel more comfortable, especially since many people had never attended a wiki conference before.
- There was a lot of interaction between the participants.
- There was at least one discussion about how to increase female participation in the Wikimedia projects.
- There was a higher percentage of female attendance than at other Recent Changes Camps.
What didn't go well
- Due to the timing and location of the conference, many of the West Coast attendees who usually attend Recent Changes Camp couldn't make it this year.
- At least three locals should be involved in organizing future Recent Changes Camps -- this should be taken into consideration when choosing future locations.
- When planning future conferences, we should give priority (if at all possible) to dates and locations that allow more well known wiki figures to attend in order to attract more attendees.
- Smaller conferences are a good introduction to people who have never attended a wiki conference before, since it allows them to get their questions answered more easily and is a less busy/intimidating atmosphere. Smaller conferences may be a good way to get more input from people who are new to wiki conferences. It's also a good opportunity to help those who are new to wikis.
What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?
- Over half the attendees were female. Many of these women had little to no involvement with Wikimedia Projects and at least one had never edited a wiki before. This event allowed the female attendees to learn more about what was going on with WMF projects and how they can get involved. It also taught them about the culture of Wikipedia. It also allowed female wiki contributors outside of Wikipedia to give their input on how to get women to edit Wikipedia -- particularly women from wikiHow where half of the admins are female. Outside of Recent Changes Camp, it may be more difficult for the WMF to get this kind of feedback.
- There was a discussion about how to increase female wiki participation with the conclusion being that lowering barriers to entry would result in more women editing Wikipedia. Several of the participants were women who were heavily involved in wiki projects but not in any WMF projects which allowed those in WMF projects to get a different perspective on ways to increase female wiki participation. The notes from this discussion were shared on the Gender Gap mailing list.
Detail of expenditures:
Total expenses: $US 4030.78 Total sponsors: US$ 3500 Deficit: US$ 530.78
Details at: http://recentchangescamp.org/wiki/Boston/Budget
Amount underspent in US Dollars: None. There was a deficit of US$ 530.78
Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding? No.