Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form

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Community review has ended. You are still welcome to comment on these proposals, but the FDC and the applicants may not be able to respond to your feedback or consider it during the deliberations.

Please do not edit this proposal form directly. If changes are needed, applicants can request them on the proposal form's discussion page. Thank you!

Proposal by Wikimedia UK to support its annual plan with ~US$672,000.

Program focus: Content (includes GLAM, partnerships), Volunteer support, Access to open knowledge, Technology

WMUK has demonstrated success over a wide range of activity and programme areas. We will build on the strengths of the chapter through continuing our work in education and the GLAM sectors while expanding our volunteer base, in the light of our work leading up to Wikimania London. Wikimania proved to be of great impact and we will work hard to ensure this has a significant legacy. We are also addressing areas where we have not performed well enough, principally in our target to encourage and support technical innovation. Staffing will be adjusted to support the development of high impact projects likely to promote our work to the widest possible audiences. Independent external funding will be developed with staff seeking further opportunities for direct and in-kind funding of our work. We will continue the emphasis on working internationally being part of the wider movement and supporting new and developing chapters. Our support of the Open Coalition will continue, and we will develop our work in alliance with other open knowledge organisations. We will further concentrate on our advocacy work particularly in co-operation with our other European colleagues. We will work hard to deliver our vision: open knowledge for all.


Your requested increase in funding[edit]

Even while your total budget is increasing with 7% i read the figures that your request for FDC funding is 405000 punds up from this years 353 000, an increase of almost 15%. Your are of course aware that the Board has made a decision thta FDC funding should be capped, exscept in extraordainary cases. And you have an operation that has been running for some years and being one of the biggest making a percentage increase a very big sum i absolute money. Could you please expand of your reasoning behind this very big increase and not being in agreement with the Boards decision?.Anders Wennersten (talk) 09:47, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Anders, many thanks for your question. The guidance we have had from the FDC indicated that we should cap our FDC allocation so that it did not rise any higher than a 20% cap, specifically that "the FDC will target dissemination amounts to eligible entities between 80% and 120% of what the entity received through grants or retained via payment processing in the prior funding cycle.". Therefore, when deciding our overall budget amount, we took the following five points into consideration:
  • A 20% growth cap on our FDC allocation (which we have not broken through, remaining at 15%)
  • A 20% growth cap on our own growth (which we have not broken through, remaining at 7%)
  • A wish to bring in more and more of our own funding, so that we are less reliant on FDC funds: you can see that we intend to bring in most of our budget from non-FDC sources
  • A wish to continue our current (successful) programs without having to cut funding entirely
  • A wish to radically develop our work with technology, which the WMF have encouraged us to do (Erik Moeller has recently said "I'd love to see more small hackathons around the world organized by chapters and attended by smaller groups of WMF staff along with volunteers and chapters staff."... "I think [GLAM-related technical development] could provide a nice on-ramp for a chapter or chapters to support the work of volunteers in the cultural sector with appropriate technology."). Erik in particular has been very keen to see more chapters doing technical work. With an excellent metrics structure already in place, good links to the cultural sector and local Wikimedia community, and an English-speaking population of highly skilled technical people near our office (the Silicon Roundabout), we feel that we are in a perfect place to show that technical can be done well by chapters - and with our metrics structure already in place, we will be able to show how well we've done. our board are also especially keen on this.
But we cannot hire a person to do this without our budget going up. The only way we would be able to do so would be by cutting back in other areas - areas which are successful in achieving both our goals and the WMF's goals.
You will see in "Basic Information", Section 4, that we write "The hiring of this developer is optional, but without it we will not be able to support technical projects to further our outreach or contribution work. Likewise, our support of projects such as QRpedia, the Virtual Learning Environment and Wikisoba would be diminished, and we would find it more difficult to support key WMF goals such as "Encourage innovation". Key parts of this WMF goal are to "Make technology investments to guarantee the permanence of projects and support ongoing growth", and to "Build internal capacity to better support the movement and achieve its strategic goals". Both of these WMF goals support the hiring of a developer by WMUK.". It is therefore for the FDC to decide if they want to provide funding to support a UK-based developer or not. We believe it would be beneficial for them to do so, and we believe that it is the wish of both the WMUK and WMF boards for us to do so.
Finally, I should reiterate that even though our budget is going up, it is going up by less than the "cap" given to us by the FDC, and it is being supported by more and more non-movement funding, lessening the burden on the WMF. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:12, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I must admit I am rather surprised of your answer. The +-20% cap was stated in the FDC framwork given by the Board, and it has been what FDC has communicated to the chapters up to now. But these figures were superseeded by the Board in Dec 2013 in their decision to demand a cap on FDC funding for two years 2015-2016. FDC has not communicaed these figures which probalby would have been a good things to do in order to clarify what is relevant for this round. As long as I was part of FDC we wre rather reluctant to do this as we are not really happy (and not in agreement among ourselves) with this Board decision and did not want to interpret or clarify their decision, But it hs been my understadnding that all chapter understood and had taken actions according to this board decision. Anyway I am no longer part of FDC, so we will see how hte now existing FDC will act on the request exceeding the demand on cap. And in general I am a big beleiver that tech competence should exist and increase on chaper level, but mostly in order to give the community best support, so more a very few experst than a subunit for deveolpment to WMF.Anders Wennersten (talk) 19:30, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikisoba project[edit]

Regarding https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Wikisoba_project would you please describe in more detail the budget, milestones, headcount FTE allocation, and objectives in terms of the definition of when the project will be considered done? Also, from which line item in this Proposal is it funded? Cc User:Charles Matthews 173.197.107.11 17:44, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

@Jon Davies (WMUK): anyone? 173.197.107.11 20:03, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello 173.197.107.11 - we don't work weekends so although we've seen your question we can't answer till we're back at work. Sorry! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 20:27, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

I can comment that as of late 2014, this project is being run entirely on a volunteer basis. Currently some hosting/hardware expenditure is under consideration. Possibly some developer time would be needed, and a transition away from a fully volunteer effort, when there has been further progress. I have sent WMUK some estimates included in a three-year plan for the VLE. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:40, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this. Staff at WMUK are preparing answers to this question and will post over the next few days. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:44, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
WMUK is well that there is enormous potential within our community to develop projects such as Wikisoba. That is why we are proposing a significant increase in resources dedicated to this area (G4 in our strategic goals). We’re working on a variety of options for how best to deliver the support and direction for such projects and based on the FDC figure, will come to a conclusion in our agreed 2015-16 budget at the December board meeting. The intention though is to enable such projects to receive the support they need to succeed.

Allocating budget would depend, as Charles the lead volunteer explains, on expert scoping of what skills needed and the blend of paid/volunteer time required. Funding for this would come from our development budget, and the success of this project is contingent on funding being provided to support a project manager to manage contractors and assign reasonable goals. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I think we need to provide reasonable goals and achievements but also I approve of this project so it means we will be able to succeed and get more visitors by the end of 2014 and Wikisoba might be the commercial success here. --DAFXF (talk) 11:32, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions from FDC staff[edit]

Thank you for submitting this proposal for an Annual Plan Grant to the FDC! As the FDC staff, we have enjoyed reviewing it and learning more about the work you’ve done to date, and the plans you have for 2015. At this time, we’d like to know a bit more. Some questions have come up as part of our review, and we have a few requests for clarifications. Please let us know if any of this is unclear.

Thank you for your hard work! Winifred Olliff (FDC Support Team) talk 00:23, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Confirming your financial information[edit]

Based on your budgeted spend for 2014 your proposed growth rate is 0.58% and based on your projected spend for 2014 your growth rate is 11.16% because you expect to spend 90.48% of the total budgeted. WMUK is requesting a 14.73% increase in FDC funding. This analysis is based on the following numbers:

  • Budgeted spend 2014: £807,196
  • Projected spend 2014: £730,371
  • FDC funds granted 2014: £353,000
  • Proposed budget 2015: £811,866
  • FDC funds requested 2015:£405,000

We understand that you list your current staff at 13.4 and your proposed staff at 12.4, but that 4 of these staff were hired as temporary staff for Wikimania, putting your non-Wikimania related staff this year and 9.4. Therefore, as we read your proposal, we understand that WMUK is proposing to increase the staff by 3 FTE. Please let us know if we aren’t understanding this correctly.

The FDC glossary defines our growth rate as the current annual budget (or movement funding requested) divided by the previous year’s annual budget (or movement funding requested). Based on this definition:
  • Our proposed growth rate based on budgeted spend is 6.51%
  • Our proposed increase in FDC funding is 14.73%.
With regard to your calculations for ‘projected spend’, we were not pre-informed of this and they are not mentioned in the glossary of terms, nor are they requested in the grant request form. As a result, we have not provided an accurate figure.
We wrote the proposal mid-year and are still calculating our projections in order to provide a projected spend for the remainder of this year to the accuracy level we expect. The numbers we have provided in the FDC Q2 grant report - which is where you have taken the ‘projected spend’ figure from are the only numbers we have for projections, but they are out of date, are not based on full costs (only direct costs), They are certainly not accurate to two decimal places.
The spends are not very well pre-aligned with activity patterns to indicate spending variations by quarter (until recently they were a straight “25% each quarter”). In addition to this, the unusual spending patterns caused by Wikimania expenditure moving through our accounts has also created unexpected variances. There have also been gifts in kind of nearly £15,000. We are therefore not able to confirm a 11.16% growth rate or a 90.48% predicted spend as an accurate representation of our financial situation.
Our Q3 and Q4 spending patterns contain a series of previous unplanned events, for example our Volunteer Conference, and new projects e.g. several new Wikimedian in Residence posts and some unexpected spends on governance issues (e.g. a Subject Access Request) indicate we are going to be much closer to our estimated budget than our Q2 reports suggest.
It was a special year owing to Wikimania which expanded our staffing significantly, but temporarily. Leaving that aside we planned in 2014-15 to have 10.4 staff but could not appoint a Developer, and so 9.4 was the actual staff in post.
As a result, our proposal is to go from 10.4 posts to 12.4. Having said that, the board is looking at alternatives to a CTO post - possibly a lower-level project manager. If there were cheaper alternatives that could deliver the same impact, the staffing might only be 11.4 - an increase of two posts, one in programme delivery and one in fundraising. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:39, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarifications, Richard. The FDC does look at both types of growth rates (based on budgeted and based on projected spend) and that's why we've provided them both here to be transparent, so that you know what the FDC will be looking at. We think understanding growth in both ways is useful, and we understand that both rates are nuanced differently. These nuances are important to, and considered carefully by, the FDC and to FDC staff. Our calculations actually aren't based on information from your Q2 report, but from your responses right here in the proposal form (in Table 3). We do understand that any numbers for projected spending or projected revenues are estimates, but we are working under the assumption that all numbers provided in the proposal form are accurate to the best of each organization's ability. Involvement in Wikimania is a circumstance that we always take into account when understanding an organization's financial history, as we know it does make a very big difference. Thanks again for the additional information. Winifred Olliff (FDC Support Team) talk 19:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  1. Given past challenges with managing development work around VLE expressed in your report, why do you believe it will be successful in supporting the work of a fulltime developer to focus on this project (and QRpedia)? What experience and capacity does WMUK have to take on the management of technical work?
  2. Please describe your planned work and the role you will play within the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group - European Union. What are your priorities for encouraging policy change? Which areas will you be tackling specifically?
  3. How do you measure how your general volunteer support program leads to more activity or engagement among your volunteers? How do you assess which support activities seem to be the most successful?
  4. How will “supporting booklet production” “raise their awareness of benefits of open knowledge”? Is this strategy based on past results?
  5. Why are your targets for the objective “the quantity of open knowledge continues to increase” of your Program 1 “report only”?
Thanks for this. Staff at WMUK are preparing answers to these questions and will post over the next few days. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:45, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  1. As we stated in our response above to Charles’s Wikisoba comments we are looking at all the options for supporting software development projects. The VLE has relied on very low funding and the goodwill of those developing it. There has been progress but if we need to offer projects like this the support they need to progress, we will need more resources.

    Our experience has been limited as our capacity has been limited. Our inability this year to appoint any software posts has held us back. The proposed software post in our grant request will give us the experience and capacity to take on the management of technical work.

  2. The main area of work for the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU is to pursue legislative and regulatory change to areas of copyright. The three key areas are: public domain licensing of publicly funded works; harmonisation of freedom of panorama across the European Union to the most liberal model, and the right to use orphan works.

    Progress has been made on the right to use orphan works. An ongoing process of copyright review is underway at the EU level. Wikimedia UK is a founder member of the group and works very closely with our partners in other European chapters. We are also working with other, non-Wikimedia, organisations on this. For a detailed example see EU policy/Position Paper on EU Copyright.

    Our Head of External Relations is currently planning meetings with chairs of two key policy groups within the European Parliament to supplement this work.

    Finally, it should be noted that this work is funded through our independent income rather than any grant from the FDC, in order to ensure that we do not trip the ‘lobbying limit’ that the WMF is subject to.

  3. There are several ways in which we measure the activities of the volunteers we support. The way to gauge the engagement of the community is to look at the Volunteer activity units and the Leading volunteer activity units. Through this we can see, in general terms, how active the community is, and, crucially with the Leading units, reflects how the community is developing in terms of leading on activities in events. By the end of the current activity year we will have baseline data on the level of volunteering activities (but will have to take special account of Wikimania, which brought an unprecedented spike).

    As outlined, there are specific activities that we take on to support volunteering engagement (equipment loans, travel & project grants). However, at this stage we don’t have enough data on which to base an in-depth analysis of success of particular activities.

    At the same time, we are planning a volunteering survey on skills and development, which is set to give us insight into how well we are supporting our community and whether we are enabling them to become more active.

    A key aspect of our volunteer support is ensuring that our lead volunteers have the skills and confidence to deliver events and training to a high standard. To this end, Wikimedia UK has been running the Training the Trainers course since 2012. We now have nearly 50 trained trainers (including a tranche trained in August). This core of leading volunteers form an integral pillar of our work. Of our training events in Q1 and Q2, 65.63% of the leading activity units (96 in total) were attributable to our trained trainers. It is evident that without this course our community would still be training people, but also that it has vastly increased our capacity.

  4. Printed materials are of great value. They allow us to provide clear, concise and attractive information to those interested in our work. For example, our annual review booklet is always popular with members, donors, volunteers and those new to our work, particularly at events. Our GLAM booklet, which provides examples of how cultural institutions can engage with the Wikimedia world, is useful in helping us to develop partnerships that promote the value of open knowledge and encourage institutions to share their knowledge under Commons friendly open licences. Our Wikimedians in Residence review is an excellent starting point when we are working with host institutions towards initiating residencies. It is also a very useful knowledge sharing resource in its own right and has been very well received in the wider international community.

    As our profile increases and we develop more partnerships and grow our community these resources are an important part of our communications and promotional mix. Some people still prefer a hard copy that is well designed and presented. A full list of our current booklets can be seen here.

  5. We will track and report the progress on this objective, but have not set an annual target. This is because, from our experience, the numbers we achieve could vary in a very significant way, and it may not be possible to predict them in a productive way. The activities in this area can have very impressive outcomes, however, it is not possible to anticipate whether they would be successfully delivered in a particular time frame. For example, through our work an opportunity may come up to upload 1 million images via a content donation. If at this stage we plan for achieving 1 million images in 2015-16, and the partnership does not succeed, the charity may be steered towards uploading low quality, irrelevant images just to meet the target. For this reason we are working towards making this number significant, but don’t feel it’s productive to put a specific target against the objective.

    This week we received two high quality digitisation machines for loaning out to GLAMs to digitise and upload images. But we want to get a bit of experience of how they are used in the field before working out appropriate metrics for their use. We also need to be aware of the lead times of the organisational changes that we are trying to achieve. The Royal Society being a case in point. Earlier this year they uploaded studio quality images of this years new fellows. This was a direct result of our residency there, but the new process, with fellows having a chance to opt out, and appropriate contracts with photographers, only resulted in images being uploaded after the end of the residency. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Preliminary questions about diversity/gender metrics[edit]

Hello, thank you all for the work that you do for the wikimedia movement. I enjoyed reading about your current projects and future plans. I have several questions about your plans and goals related to diversity in general and in particular the gender gap.

Could you explain how that you are figuring the the activity goals related to women's participation in Wikimedia UK? Are taking into account the work done by staff? the work done only by people at UK sponsored events? or are you looking at recruiting more women in to the wikimedia movement in general and capturing their work on wikimedia projects?

From my read of this page, you are only setting goals for women's participation in WMUK events. [1]. If that is the case, I'm pretty disappointed at the low goal of only 20 and 25% participation by women, and 15% and 18% leading by women in WMUK activities. While I understand that you are more limited in your ability to change the overall participation rate of women on Wikipedia English and Commons, I think that you could be putting more resources into achieving closer to 50% participation in WMUK sponsored events. What are the obstacles to regularly planning events that attract closer to 50% participation by women? FloNight (talk) 02:52, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this. Staff at WMUK are preparing answers to this question and will post over the next few days. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 08:45, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Jon, I look forward to reading their answers. I have some follow up questions and comments. I see from reading the Strategy monitoring plan outcome [2] and the Q2 Progress report form [3] that you are reporting higher numbers than you are setting for goals in the upcoming period. 41% in year to date for participation, and 25% in year to date for leading. That reinforces my view that you are not setting goals that challenge WMUK to have close to 50%. I hope that you will reconsider your goals.
I'm wonder if you have a written strategy to increase participation by women?
Also, while, I value the participation of people in all of their volunteer roles, I encourage WMUK to use their resources to decrease the gender gap in the editing community on the Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia English and Commons, and other languages where you are working. I think the impact of the work of WMUK needs to be reflected on the content created on the various WMF projects. FloNight (talk) 15:03, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the really good points you raise and taking the trouble to look at what we are doing in depth. Agree we need to up our targets.

One big point as background. Writing an FDC bid forces us to make a lot of guesses as it is prepared only half way through our year when data is still being collected, analysed and tested. In two areas this is particularly important, our financial predictions, and, relevant to your questions, our projected targets. We will be looking at all our targets over the next month to adjust them in line with the data we now have for the first seven months of the year. We are delighted that so far we have exceeded our targets in these areas. We did not have baseline data from last year on which to base our targets, so we perhaps were not as aspirational as we could have been. The gender gap has been an issue for the charity since we were founded. Our overall aim is to have an active community of volunteers that reflect the UK readership in every aspect of its make-up. Gender balance though is one area where the difference in our community is particularly pronounced and hence a key area of our extended reach work. There are various strategies we have employed to address this from careful use of imagery in our publications, through ensuring our board is better balanced (now at 40% female, previously 0% as recently as September 2013).

Our activity goals for participation by women are a key part of this. They relate to our volunteer activity. When setting these goals we have to get a balance between ‘too easy’ and ‘impossible to achieve’. We set a target for 25% of participants being female given the general profile of our community we believed this to be challenging but also realistic. Given our success, you are right: that this is too low and we will be reviewing this target with high hopes of approaching 50%. We set provisional targets for our FDC bid but will be reviewing them all (hopefully upwards) as we see the year develop. One note of caution, we need to be wary of statistical spikes that can mislead. Wikimania or targeted events for women contributors can create such statistical anomalies. Annual targets have to look across the whole year.

Typically, our trainers contribute a majority of the leading activity units (90.4% in Q1, but 10.6% in Q2 when a huge amount of effort was spent preparing for Wikimania). Demographically our trainers represent the more experienced Wikimedians who historically have been predominantly male. For instance in our Train the Trainers programme there was a significant gender gap in the first two cohorts as most of the trainees were men. The intention is that the next one will be closer to 50:50. Different types of activities, organising conferences (EduWiki for instance, not just Wikimania) tends to attract a different demographic of volunteers, often one with less editing experience. These volunteers are crucial in helping deliver our programme and also help bring balance to the diversity of our volunteering group. Training new editors remains an important part of our plan, which means that we will continue to call on support from a group of volunteers skewed towards being male. As a result - while we could revise the target for activity units attributable to women upwards towards 50%, amongst our leading volunteers a smaller increase may be more realistic.

In terms of attendees, we regularly plan activities targeted specifically at women. Some events such as the Live Art, Feminism and Archives editathon and the Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the University of Manchester were particularly well attended by women. Our recent Women in Classicism event was tweeted by Mary Beard and of the 11 people who came to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of women in classicism, 10 were female. Such events depend on us having a partner organisation who is willing to promote our event to their members, and on our existing mostly male trainers being willing to train a mostly female audience. This makes an impact and we are really pleased at the success. However there are other events which we market to existing editors via watchlist notices, and the attendance at such events is more likely to reflect the editing community. Our figure for activity units also includes our leading activity units - so will include our trainers. As was mentioned earlier, with a core of leading volunteers the majority of whom are male that would tend to skew the figures. In Q1 for example 35.9% of all activity units were attributable to women, but when excluding leading activity units it rose to 50.8%. As long as the majority of our lead volunteers are male, this will push the overall figure down and 50% may not be realistic. It is important to note that we rely on and are very grateful to all our trainers who have repeatedly volunteered their time to train people at our many and varied events.

You ask about obstacles. We have to balance our resources. We could prioritise the 50% participation but this would be at the cost of other work e.g. working with developing chapters. Hard choices have to be made. As it stands We are making a real impact with what we are allocating. I agree we can re-set our provisional targets and work more quickly towards equality in all aspects of our work.

We need to balance events targeted at supporting our existing community with ones designed to grow our community (some of course will do both). Editathons targeted at existing editors have many benefits, they enable cross training of editors, put editors in touch with experts and quality sources, and supply us with the experienced event trainers for future events and especially our gender outreach events. But we realise that we need to reach beyond our existing community if we are going to address the gender gap.

Two other notes: at Wikimania the gender balance among volunteers and especially leading volunteers was excellent. Secondly although we cannot, under UK law, use affirmative action to recruit women to the roles we have advertised, our office currently has six women in it (including an attachee) out of fourteen. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:51, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Richard, for explaining the thinking behind your current targets. It is great to hear about successful events. I strongly encourage you to raise both the participation and leading targets for women. You have shown already that it is possible to achieve higher than your current target for participation and that 50% is reachable. Regarding your target for leading, I think you need to up it as a strategy for increasing participation. You all need to consider the impact of having Wikimedians who are women help plan and attend events instead of only the regulars who are men. From my personal experience of being the only woman from the wikimedia movement present at events, I think the dynamic is changed in a good way when a woman is present. This in no way is disparaging the excellent work done by the men involved so please don't take it that way. :-) I'll be happy to speak with you more about this in more detail in another venue.
Connecting the work of the WMUK to online content and the online editing community is one area that you didn't touch on in your response. I would like to see you all do this across the board for all of you projects, events, and programs including the work related to gender gap. It is helpful for a better understanding of how the movement funds used by WMUK will impact the content.
I know that in some instances we are treading on new ground when we create goals, targets, and outcomes about online content. This area of work needs to be a priority so we can evaluate the impact of the money spent by the movement. I hope to see you all focus more attention to this area.
Thanks for reading my comments. We are all in this together, learning as we go. FloNight (talk) 18:50, 16 October 2014 (UTC)


Here is a link to our Equality and Diversity Policy. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:59, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It is good to see that you all have a written policy. :-) FloNight (talk) 18:50, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Responding to questions[edit]

We really value the time people are taking to ask these questions. They are really helpful and bring up issues we look forward to addressing. As WMUK staff we are happy with this dialogue. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions from Risker about participant metrics[edit]

I realise that the chapters and affiliates have not really been asked to produce consistent participant metrics to date, so it is understandable if you have to give estimates for some of these metrics. When responding, please identify if the data you are providing is verified (e.g., a maintained membership database) or estimated.

  1. How many members do you have? If you have different categories of membership, please give subtotals for each category.
  2. How many individuals volunteered for/participated in an activity sponsored by your organization so far this year, excluding special events like WMF-related conferences/Wikimania? (Please let me know what kinds of activities you're including.) Approximately what percentage of these volunteers are also chapter/affiliate members?
  3. What percentage of the individuals who have volunteered for or participated in your organization's activities in the past year are also active Wikimedians, or became active Wikimedians after participation? (Activity could include content contributions or administrative contributions on any project, developer contributions, committee membership, etc.)

Thanks for any information you are able to provide. Risker (talk) 04:42, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Risker, thanks for your questions. I'll set about answering them. Regarding the third question, what would you consider as sufficient to be counted as 'active' after events? I'm not aware of a movement-wide standard. Would you expect differentiation between someone who makes 20 edits the day after participating in one of our activities and then nothing over the next four months and someone who makes 100 edits spread out over the same four month period? I could come up with a broad answer, but something more granular may be more tricky. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:09, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the lack of a consistent definition for "activity" doesn't really exist, and the closest that I've seen is 5+ edits/month for "active" and 100+ edits/month for "very active" editors. That definition doesn't include some very useful activities such as development of software or uploading of media files; I'm not even sure if it includes the "proofing" of Wikisource documents. I'd suggest answering the question using a fairly broad understanding of activity, but perhaps include some notes on the nature of activity that you're including. Thanks very much. Risker (talk) 14:03, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
@Risker:
  1. As of 30 October 2014, Wikimedia UK has 256 members. This includes 255 individual members, and one institutional member.
  2. Between 1 February 2014 and 30 October 2014, 1,310 people have been involved in our activities. 220 took a lead role in our activities. Of the 1,310 people, 80 are currently members. Sadly, I don't think there is a quick way to check if they were members at the time of the initial activity. Amongst lead volunteers, 50 are members.
    The 1,310 figure includes 230 people who took part in the Barclays editathon, and 80 people attending EduWiki tomorrow (31 October). This figure includes people who have attended events such as editathons and editing workshops; those who have taken part in volunteer committees to help steer the charity's work; people in receipt of grants; people who have loaned our equipment; people who have supported our media activities; speakers at events; and people who have been involved in organising events. In our quarterly reports we differentiate between volunteers (people who attend our events) and lead volunteers (people who take a lead role in our activities, such as organising events, leading training, grants etc). This constitutes about 220 people; the numbers in the Q3 report will be lower as the number we present is only for people for whom we have contact details, and looking at the names I suspect that one or two contacts may be the same person but with a different email address.

    Some of this will include Wikimania fringe events such as the Future of Education, and volunteers preparing for Wikimania. I can prune out those who attended Wikimania fringe events, but excluding those who helped at Wikimania may be more difficult as some have volunteered and attended other events (though not all, so one size doesn't fit all). If you think it would be useful, I can have a go. In the first six months of the year, there were 40 editing events (either editathons or training) with 720 attendees; excluding the Barclays editathon which is an exceptional event, that averages out at about 13 people per event (I haven't worked out the variance, but the lowest attendance was 3 and the highest 32, excluding Barclays). I haven't yet pulled together Q3 numbers as WMUK's quarter ends on 31st October, and our FDC report is due on 15th November.

  3. In our quarterly reports, we have a metric for lead volunteer drop out rate. Lead volunteers are those people for whom we have contact details and have contributed a leading activity unit (ie: "one person taking a leading role in one event. That may include running or helping to run the event, or being one of the lead organisers of an online activity"). As 2014–15 is a benchmarking year in this area, we don't have drop out figures yet. This might be one way of measuring activity. Wikimetrics is a very useful tool and allows us to measure how many people make x number of edits in a certain period. We haven't included this figure in our FDC reports for 2014–15. That said, for our Q1 and Q2 editing events I ran the reports to see the kind of impact our events have been making. Of the 329 user names we have for people who edited at our events in this six-month period, 32 made 10 or more mainspace edits in the 30-day period three days after the event. This represents a nearly 10% 'survival rate' which is probably an over count as that 32 may include people who attended multiple events, so effectively be lower. It is also not known how many of the people trained at the Barclays editathon are still editing as their user names were not collected (it was not practical at the time). This doesn't take into account our trainers for example, or people who sit on committees, or event those carrying out grants, where I expect the figure would be approaching 100% for active Wikimedians. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:17, 30 October 2014 (UTC)