Grants:PEG/Susanna Mkrtchyan/Wiki conference/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2011-12 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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When I started Grant application I was concentrated on the goal to create collaboration environment for all active wikipedians either active recently or in past. Grant applications talks and meetings of active group changed my view of conference's goal. Eventually we became aimed as on dissemination of Wiki projects, and as well advertising of the conference. In this case we needed to have more attractive and large Venue for the conference. We started negotiation with government, with Yerevan State University (YSU). Only after two months we got permission from YSU to organize the conference in the University. We needed more money too, since we were aimed to have more participants.

At first we applied for support to two operators: Viva cell and Orange. Viva cell rejected immediately. The Orange operator started long negotiations. After three months they apologized for rejecting. But at that time we already have had the agreement with third operator Beeline. Since we are a group, not the organization, the agreement were signed among operator "Beeline" and "Instigate" Foundation (our partner in "Wikipedia schools and universities" project). This added new problems. For each payment we had to get agreement from "Instigate" and ...

Because of we liked Wikimania pages, we decided to create similar pages for our conference WikiConference Yerevan 2012. In registration we had question about T-shirt size. But there was no money to order T-shirts. Fortunately the Foundation helped us and T-shirts were in Yerevan on 6th of September. But we had to prove that T-shirts were for charitable uses. At last we got permission to take T-shirts temporary, to recieve agreement of the charitable commission later. Since we are trying to get charitable status. (to be continued)

Media in

Project goal and measures of success[edit]

Project goal[edit]

  • The main goal is to return back editors with years of experience, to attract new editors and to convince society particularly scientists and people engaged in education, that their Vision of Wikipedia and other Wiki projects is very superficial and to acquaint them to all aspects of advantages of Wiki projects.
    • Already on stage of discussing of the grant I started doubt whether we can achieve the goal to return back the experienced editors who aren't active recently.

Fortunately we achieved that two of earlier active editors now are very active, and hope this number will increase. On 7th of September we organized meeting at the Academy of science with representatives of research institutions, where Thing Chen, Bence Damokos, Susanna Mkrtchyan made speeches about Wikimedia projects and about the experience of other countries.

  • We must achieve more collaboration within community to improve the content of Wiki projects and to attract more people into Wiki movement. Consequently the second goal is to prepare the ground for establishing the chapter Wikimedia Armenia.
    • The ground for establishing Wikimedia Armenia we achieved, but we need more collaboration. I think the conference was first step, we have to organize regular meetups in order to achieve more collaboration to solve different problems on the path of development Armenian Wikipedia.

Measures of success[edit]

We will consider the project a success if both the number of volunteers, applying for the membership of Wikimedia Armenia (100) and of organizations (10) as well, will increase sharply. In addition we hope that all experienced editors who left Armenian Wikipedia, will return back (already some).

  • Now we are in process of organizing of Armenian chapter and we hope that the chapter will have more than 100 members.

The laws of Armenia don't allow organizations to become members of non governmental organizations. The number of active Wikipedians increased from 200 to 250. As I mentioned above, some experienced editors returned back and we hope that their number will increase. Besides now we have collaboration as in creating of Wikipedia articles as well in organizing outreach events.

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Although our conference was well organized and successful (even we couldn't imagine), but there are some thoughts how to organize it better.

The conference starts since you make decision about the conference.
Start writing report simultaneously with organizing of the conference.
Take into account, that it is very important to attract more people in organization process. First time it was difficult, because of some people had doubted about success.
It is better to devide responsibilities at the start.
It would be better to define few partial scholarship for active editors of Armenian Wikipedia outside of Armenia.
Now most participants and non participants editors are considi about second Armenian Wikiconference in Vanadzor: to attract more people outside of Yerevan.
The main thing to continue regular meetups, to have the same vision, way of development of Armenian (or other language) Wiki projects. After the conference we formed the core of which feels responsibility and seeks the way of increasing of quality and quantity of the content of Wiki projects. Now more people are participating in organization of the workshops.
In my opinion the groups or chapters need to keep the minimum of spare money, to feel free in organizing outreach activities.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

  • The conference facilitated the relation with various type of organizations to make workshops, to disseminate ideology of Wikipedia and other Wiki projects.

After the conference we succeeded weekly collaboration project. You may see the result of this project in articles Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom and Moon. Now we have group of editors which make edits every day. Along new participants there are people with various interest: historians, It specialists, writer, art critic, former astronomer,... After workshop in Yerevan State University we have more students contributors. Discussions became more creative. During the conference we got new partner: Shirak Technologies and more close became collaborations with Instigate Foundation. Now we agreed with KASA Foundation to organize a chain of workshops in Gyumry. We have organized meeting related to establishment of Armenian chapter. We agreed about the goals and content of bylaw. Also we agreed the bylaw with public register. Now we are waiting for decision from Affiliation Committee.

Reporting and documentation of expenditures[edit]

Documentation of expenditures has been received by WMF.

The funds remaining from this grant in the amount of {{{amount}}} were deducted from another grant payment for Grants:Susanna Mkrtchyan/WikiConference Yerevan 2013.

Did you send WMF documentation of all expenses paid for with grant funds?

Details of expenditures:

  • Round trip tickets Los Angeles USA-Yerevan Armenia-Los Angeles for admin of Armenian Wikipedia

"Teak"- Victor Grigoryan.-1330$(1332.68)

  • Round trip tickets for Natela Popkhadze 15000AMD~39$

Hostel for Natela 4*5500AMD=22000AMD~55$

  • Tea/coffee break,Lunch 1,200,000AMD~2941$
  • Wiki party at the restaurant for 40 people. 285000AMD~713$
  • Customs service payment for T-shirts 6000AMD+6500AMD=12,500AMD~32$
  • Cash deposit Receipt 1000AMD~3$
  • Undocumented expenses 33000AMD~82$


Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding?

  • We didn't spent money for printing brochure Welcome2WP in Armenian, and we would like use this money for printing the all brochures of the Bookshelf Wikimedia Outreach.

Will you be returning unused funds to the Wikimedia Foundation?

Additional requests and related proposals[edit]

Will you be requesting an extension or were you granted an extension?

Please link to related grant proposals here: