Grants:TPS/Netha Hussain/Ada Camp and Open Source Bridge, 2014/Report

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Ada Camp, Portland[edit]

I was a participant at Ada Camp, Portland. Ada Camp is an unconference : participants decide the agenda at the beginning of the meeting and anyone who wants to initiate a discussion can claim the time and space.

I co-facilitated two sessions related to Wikipedia namely, "Wikipedia workshop" and Wiki-edit party". Wikipedia workshop was for beginners who wanted to get started with editing Wikipedia. My co-facilitators were Rosie and Liz Henry , both of whom I met for the first time at the conference. We demonstrated the creation of the article about Ángela Figuera Aymerich using an AV device, and responded to the participants' queries about editing. I discovered that User: Rosiestep and I share the same passion in writing biographies of women on Wikipedia, and we decided to do collaborative editing and run multi-city edit-a-thons in future. I could pick up the best practices in writing DYKs from Rosie. I could obtain her consent in publishing her Wikipedia story on Huffington Post U.K later this year. The "Wiki-edit party" was meant for participants who were already acquainted with editing Wikipedia. Here, the participants mostly did cleanups on articles about notable women.

I attended the session on 'Conducting edit-a-thons/hack-a-thons' and talked about my experiences with conducting outreach events. I supported a couple of users with resources for conducting edit-a-thons in their locality. I also participated in the session about Outreach Program for Women and talked about my engagement in spreading the word about this program. I shared my experiences regarding OPW from an Indian perspective. I met Helen Herbert, the OPW intern at Wikidata, and we planned to get in touch with each other while planning for label-a-thons in future. In the session about 'Measuring diversity', I picked up useful contacts and learned new ideas about statistical measurement, which will come handy in evaluating Wikimedia outreach events. I have spread the word about the travel participation grants among Wikimedians and Individual Engagement Grants among researchers, which will hopefully encourage them to apply.

What lessons were learned that could help others in similar events?

  • The quiet room and alone room : Some of the conference goers would want to work quietly, or take a nap without being disturbed. The Ada Camp had a quiet room where the participants could spend some quality time quietly. The alone room was for spending some time alone : the participant could enter the room and lock the door from inside so that she can spend time without being disturbed by anyone else. The alone room could also for breastfeeding, if they did not want to do so in front of others.
  • Do not fiddle with the AV : The rule was to not fiddle with the audiovisuals for more than 5 minutes if they were found not working. Fiddling with the AV can take away a lot of time, and reduce the time spent for productive discussion.
  • The wall of compliments : A wall was set up where the participants were encouraged to paste sticky notes with compliments written on it. At the end of the conference, anybody could take away any compliment and keep them as souvenirs.
  • Coloured lanyards : The badge lanyards show the preference for photography of the participant by colors : Green (Photographs always okay), Yellow (Ask before photographing) and Red (photographs never okay, don’t ask)
  • Child room : A child care room was set up at the conference with trained professionals interacting with the children. Age-specific toys and books were available at the room. The participants could leave their children in the child room while they attended the conference sessions. Children were encouraged to eat with their parent during breaks.

I plan to convert these learnings to Learning Patterns once I find some free time. I will share the links here once I am finished. These learnings will be helpful for Wikimedians to conduct Wikimedia outreach events in future.

 EDIT : Links to the learning patterns : 
* Grants:Learning_patterns/Wall_of_compliments
* Grants:Learning_patterns/Don't_fiddle_with_the_AV
* Grants:Learning patterns/Colored lanyards
* Grants:Learning_patterns/Child_room
EDIT: Link to the interview with User: Rosiestep : Rosie Stephenson: The woman who wrote over 3000 articles on Wikipedia 

PS : Ada Camp has a reporting policy in which explicit permission is required to reveal participants' names. I have obtained permission from all participants mentioned in this report.

What impact did your participation have on the Wikimedia Mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

  • Reach : At least 10 people edited Wikipedia and most of them were newbies.
  • Quality : Creation of w:en:Angela_Figuera_Aymerich article and cleanup of a few other articles.
  • Diversified participation : The participants were all women, from both tech and non-tech backgrounds.

Open Source Bridge, Portland[edit]

I was a speaker at Open Source Bridge, Portland. My talk, 'The joy of volunteering with open technology and culture' dealt with my experiences in conducting Wikimedia workshops. I got to interact with several Wikimedia contributors like Richa, Niharika, Alolita, Roan, Sumana and Josh. Josh's presentation gave me insights about the failures of the collaborative mechanism of Wikimedia, and possible solutions to deal with it. I learnt about the language selector from Niharika's presentation, which was helpful for me as I work on multiple languages at the same time. I got to learn about installing mediawiki during the hands-on workshop led by Richa. Sumana's talk on Outreach Program for Women was informative and I made a note to promote this program in the Wikimedia community in India. I also interacted with participants from Google, Mozilla and DreamWidth, and got to learn from their personal experiences as staff or volunteers. My slides can be found on the conference website here.

What lessons were learned that could help others in similar events? My session was longer than the assigned time, and I had to condense the contents of the last few slides to be able to finish on time. This also left me with too little time to take all questions from the audience while on-record. My learning is that managing time for individual slides and initiating a conversation with the audience during the presentation is important for the success of the session. The observations from a 100% volunteer-run conference was a great motivation to run more volunteer-run events in future. The badges given to the participants were little schedule booklets, with the name and affiliation of the participant on both cover pages. The badge could be used as an identification card and as a schedule booklet at the same time.

What impact did your participation have on the Wikimedia Mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation? My talk was received with several questions and comments. I could convince the audience the importance of volunteering for open source/open knowledge projects. I mentioned a few learning patterns based on my experience in conducting outreach events in India which hopefully motivated the participants to conduct similar outreach events. I pointed out the common pitfalls one might encounter while conducting outreach events and ideas to foresee and tackle them. My talk was particularly focused on diversifying participation by recruiting volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds, which hopefully helps people to bring in more women and minorities to their open source projects. I will link to the audio/video of my talk once it is up.

Visit to MozSpace, Portland[edit]

I visited MozSpace, the office space of the Mozilla Foundation in Portland, on 23 June. I was able to build contacts with the staff members and was able to watch the weekly Mozilla conference. I had a discussion with a Mozilla employee about ideas to increase the participation of women in open source projects in India. MozSpace offered me a chance to interact with Mozillian conference participants beforehand and spend quality time with them.

Details of expenditure[edit]

  • US Visa Fees: USD 160
  • Flight Expense (Round-trip economy class fare from India to Portland and back) : USD 2706.92 (booked by the WMF)
  • Accommodation at Econo Lodge City Center, Portland with co-participant Richa Jain : USD 921.29 for two (reserved by the WMF)