Grants:Project/Rapid/L235/Stanford Wikipedia Day 2019/Report
Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
We held our Wikipedia Day event on January 15, 2019, on the campus of Stanford University in Stanford, California. Around 60 people attended the event, including a mix of both Stanford affiliates and non-affiliates. The party was a great success: as far as I can tell, everyone in attendance was actively engaged throughout the course of the event by our talks, presentations, and quasi-trainings, as well as the opportunity to connect with other Wikimedians in the area, and about a dozen Wikimedians stayed around after the conclusion of the event to help clean up and continue engaging with the attendees.
Our original goals were threefold and were to: (1) Engage and recruit new editors; (2) Add or improve content; and (3) Foster community among Stanford Wikimedians. (1) and (3) were unqualified successes, as discussed below. I am more equivocal about (2), as we did not complete the follow-up events focused more specifically on content.
The two follow-up events
Due to logistical problems, we were unable to hold our follow-up events as planned. Shortly after holding the main event, we learned that in general, hosting events on Stanford's campus requires recognition as an official student organization (or partnership with a student organization), which we do not have. Our first event was not subject to this requirement, as it was facilitated by the library. However, the nature of the less formal follow-up events made it more difficult to justify library space. We looked into alternative venues, and as the Rapid Grants team approved, we decided to fund follow-up events at libraries in the Bay Area spearheaded by a Wikimedian who had attended the first event. However, due to logistical problems, that event did not occur. We considered using grant funds to host small off-campus meetups but decided that those events would not contribute to new editor retention, particularly the Stanford affiliates who had constituted most of the new Wikimedians. In order to avoid the potential appearance of misuse of funds for personal purposes for such meetups, we decided not to use grant money for those. Thus, we came in significantly underbudget and have returned $231.36 to the Foundation.
Before the main event, due to successful advertising, we received well over 200 registrations – concerning, for an event that was hosted in a venue capable of holding around 50 or 60 people. Although I was aware that many registrants would likely not end up attending, or attending for only a small amount of time, the event was open to any Stanford affiliate without preregistration. Even though I cut off non-Stanford registrations as soon as I realized there would be a significant problem, I still was forced to make the difficult decision to inform a number of non-Stanford registrants that their registration was cancelled. Had I been aware of the level of interest in the area for the event, I would have made arrangements well in advance to book a larger venue and would have potentially requested funding for venue or at least custodial services.
Please report on your original project targets.
|Target outcome||Achieved outcome||Explanation|
|3 events||1 event||See above.|
|25-50 participants||39 participants signed in personally; 29 participants registered on Outreach Dashboard|
|20 new editors||at least 15 participants were new to Wikipedia|
|30 articles created or improved||Outreach dashboard shows 14 articles edited||The focus of our original event was not on creating or improving articles. It was rather designed to help introduce newcomers to editing and provide experienced editors with a space to engage and connect with others, and the follow-up events were intended to be more article-focused.|
|5-15 repeat participants||N/A||Because we held one event, this is inapplicable.|
|core group of Wikipedians in area identified||list of 200+ registrants (incl. email addresses) and 39 participants||Beyond the contact list specifically, much value came from informal, individual networking; participants expressed that they had connected with others and were better aware of who to contact and how to get in touch with other Wikimedians.|
Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:
- What worked well?
- What did not work so well?
- What would you do differently next time?
The event itself went marvelously. Having a projector available with lightning talks interspersed throughout the evening was the standout success of the night; it was critical that participants felt free to present on their respective areas of expertise, and the lightning talks showcased much of the specialized talent and work of the participants and gave attendees a way to engage meaningfully with presenters after the presentations.
I listed two areas that did not go according to plan above. Additionally, because of the trouble with follow-up events, this report was written many months after the original event; had the planning been smoother, this report would have been finalized within a month of the original event, with memories still clear and lessons learned still fresh.
Grant funds spent
Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.
- Food: $258.72 ($350 approved)
- Transportation: $11.34 ($75 approved)
- Materials: $58.58 ($75 approved)
- Wire transfer fee: $15 (approved on talk page)
- Total: $343.64
Do you have any remaining grant funds?
We have $231.36 remaining. Though we plan on holding events in the future for which we will request funding, we do not have plans to do so within 30 days. Thus, we will be returning this amount to the Foundation.
Anything else you want to share about your project?
I want to take a moment and thank all of the attendees, the dedicated volunteers, and the wonderful staff at Stanford University Libraries, without whom this event would not have been possible.