Grants talk:IEG/Community engagement in Portugal

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This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
Thanks for sharing this proposal - we do see potential for some of these ideas to support the PT community's growth. Hope you'll consider returning in future rounds, either with increased focus in this proposal, or a new project!

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.

Questions? Contact us.


Aggregated feedback from the committee for Community engagement in Portugal[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weakest 5=strongest
Potential for impact
(A) The project fits with the Wikimedia movement's strategic priorities 4
(B) The project has the potential to lead to significant online impact. 3
(C) The impact of the project can be sustained after the grant ends. 3
(D) The project has potential to be scaled or adapted for other languages or projects. 3
Ability to execute
(E) The project has demonstrated interest from a community it aims to serve. 3
(F) The project can be completed as scoped within 6 months with the requested funds. 3
(G) The budget is reasonable and an efficient use of funds. 3
(H) The individual(s) proposing the project have the required skills and experience needed to complete it. 4
Fostering innovation and learning
(I) The project has innovative potential to add new strategies and knowledge for solving important issues in the movement. 3
(J) The risk involved in the project's size and approach is appropriately balanced with its potential gain in terms of impact. 3
(K) The proposed measures of success are useful for evaluating whether or not the project was successful. 2
(L) The project supports or grows the diversity of the Wikimedia movement. 3
Comments from the committee:
  • Project plan includes many good ideas but needs a bit more development.
  • Would like to know how many videos they are going to make, what they are going to be about, where they are going to target the local population, etc.
  • Scope is overly broad. Each component (online tutorial videos, mainstream media campaign, in-real-life engagement campaign, merchandise) may be separate and potentially viable, but not when done all at once. Suggest focusing on just one element for a project.
  • Videos may be more useful after the Visual Editor is complete and deployed to avoid becoming obsolete.
  • Measures of success are vague.
  • While increasing participation could potentially be achieved, the problem of pt.wiki is in retaining editors. This project does not address that, aims to improve community health by sheer numbers.
  • Suggest undertaking a survey to gather some hard data to help make a more concrete plan.

Reasons and fixes[edit]

Thanks for your proposal, GoEThe. I wonder how the proposed measures actually address the causes of the decline as you outlined them. The Portugal - Brazil divide, for example, reads more like the USA vs. rest / Germany vs. Austria/Switzerland debates on the respective Wikipedia language versions and we all know how these communities hammered out arrangements to bridge these gaps (with occasional melee, of course). Wikisyntax is - we all hope and trust in the visual editor - set to be fixed in 2013-14, and just throwing more new users from Portugal in the controversy doesn't by itself seem to fix the " over-aggressive community"-issue either. Thanks for enlighten me how problems and solutions are going to mutually fit in :), best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 09:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jan, I appreciate your constructive comments. We have also, through out the years, negotiated and partially solved many of the language version issues, for example for Naming conventions, how articles more associated to one or the other country should use the respective language version, etc. But I am not sure if this has been enough to bring back the editors that left for other language versions, or to reduce the perception of the general public that a particular dialect is prevalent and/or preferred on Wikipedia (funnily enough, I think that this is reversed in Brazil, where the perception is that Wikipedia is written mostly in European Portuguese). I understand your point that the current proposal does not seem to address the problems I enumerated directly, that is definitely something I would like to improve until the deadline. Like you said, we all hope the Visual Editor will solve the daunting wiki-syntax issue, so that would not be something this grant would address directly, and it would probably be beneficial if the editor was already in place so that the video tutorials would reflect the specificities of the new way to edit, and not be outdated almost immediately. As for the over-aggressive community issue, this is why I feel we should restructure the mentoring department. Newcomers should feel welcome and get the help they need from more experienced users, who should also be comfortable in their roles and be able to continue editing as much as before without losing much time cleaning up after other people. This is a difficult issue and would not be completely solved just by fixing the mentoring system, but I think it would be an important step. I still have to detail a bit more what I think should be done with the mentoring system. GoEThe (talk) 12:05, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you GoEThe, I think that's sound reasoning you are putting forward. It might be worthwhile to look at both how Tanvir redesigned the onboarding structure for the Bangla Wikipedia (where he tried to solve a different problem that partially fits in); this draft; and considering the option whether (or not) it would make sense to explore cooperation on a technical stage with the effort proposal from Brasil - which has a different core aim. I recognize, of course that - given the broader sensitivities on pt.wp - the last point should be approached with care and could very well turn out to be a trade-off not worth pursuing down the road, best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 14:16, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again, Jan. I have been talking with Ezalvarenga, and we are thinking about cooperating in the videos, so that we can prioritize the most important tutorials, and have versions with American and European accents. There will probably be a project page on Wikipedia shortly. GoEThe (talk) 16:02, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Scope and focus[edit]

Hi GoEthe, I'll echo Jan with thanks for starting to draft this proposal - I'm really interested to see where this goes!

My first question is about focus...my hunch is, you may find it easier to see results and learn what's working and what isn't in a 6-month project if you focus on trying just a couple of things. This is always hard because on every wiki there are so many potential issues or areas to be tackled in which one could have impact. But I worry that you might spread yourself too thin without more focus. I wonder if some ways to do this might be:

  • Focus just on Portuguese Wikipedia or one other project you're comfortable with, rather than trying strategies across all Portuguese Wikimedia projects, + other languages too. The reason I suggest this is that once you've learned what works for new contributors in one project, it may be easier to then turn attention to making improvements across several.
  • Choose one set of problems that new contributors face and come up with a couple of solutions to test your assumptions about what might help them. The support system (#4 in your list of goals) strikes me as one well-scoped place to start. A campaign aimed at trying to get readers in Portugal to contribute to articles of local interest is also a neat idea, and it focuses nicely with the problem you've identified about editor decline from one country but not another within a given language community. I'd be curious to learn if this was fed into a better support system for new editors, would it make a difference for engaging more contributors from Portugal? Tutorial videos also sound interesting too...but I wonder if 6 months is really enough to accomplish all of these things?
  • Or, focusing scope by some other means??

Another question somewhat unrelated to the points above: WMF funded some research related to Portuguese Wikipedia about a year ago, although it was focused on Brazil rather than Portugal. During that project, one of the things I heard from PT Wikipedians that one of the biggest barriers to contributing on that wiki can be the overall tone of the editing community - that new editors get bitten by experienced editors, or that the level of conflict can be a turnoff to new editors, perhaps as much or more-so than the technical difficulties of wikimarkup. So, new accounts may be created every day, and first edits made, but retention is a key problem because of how people treat each other. I'd be curious to know if you think this is accurate, and if so, to hear more about how your proposed solutions might be impacted or have impact on this issue.

Finally, just to let you know - I added some fields to your infobox, including a spot for you to add the total budget amount requested once you've got it worked out. Looking forward to seeing this proposal develop further (don't forget to add part 3, discussion, when you're ready for that!). Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:55, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Sbouterse. I think you are spot on about focus. I have to think which one of these tasks would have the highest impact and that could be most easily ported to other situations and suit my profile the best. I am currently leaning towards the video-tutorials and the better support system, but will have to give this some more thought.
I was already aware of this research, and it coincides with my experience, and that was one of the reasons I was involved a lot in conflict resolution in an informal and then later in a more formal role in ArbCom. And I can say that that was quite a frustrating and an inglorious role to take, and the quickest way to burn out. One area I think this project can improve the situation is by giving better support right away and at hand at any time. If someone makes fewer mistakes in the beginning, they will attract less attention from more defensive users, more likely to be unfriendly because they have been reverting vandals for five straight hours. This leads to many users to be welcomed by a torrent of warning templates with little to no instructions of how to do it right. Of course this requires that at least some users are both willing and available to provide support and it can be hard to match people up. So, I think the solution would be to have a better system for new editors to contact willing experienced ones. The current system is fragmented and difficult to find by newcomers.
Thank you for your helpful comments. GoEThe (talk) 16:49, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi all. With only 4 months editing on Wikipédia but with an already long life experience, I see 2 big problems that must be focused: one has been already discussed here and I agree with the video learning the new editor how to create properly an article, and the effort we must do to dissuade some old editors being aggressive to the new comers. After talking with a dozen of teachers (unfortunately few number to conclude but enough to have an idea), the second problem, the big one in my opinion, and the reason for the little number of Portuguese people in Wikipédia is the fact that we are few comparing with the number of Brazilian editors, so, great number of articles are in PortugueseBr, what is normal. The problem is: the use of grammar rules is different (not theoretically but in reality they are), words are different and students will learn with errors and scholar level will shut down. So our students will have problems at school if they use Brazilian terms or grammar what means that "Wikipédia is not appropriate for students (Portuguese grammar is hard to learn and each error will give a penalty in a test no matter the test is mathematics or history. We teach one thing, they read another. Is better to search at en:WP where they will learn English at same time - teachers said)". This can be the main reason for your first comment: "While participation in Portuguese language Wikimedia projects seems to be doing reasonably well, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate a decrease of participation from people living in Portugal.". The effort to create in Portugal a "Wikipédia at University Project" will have more chances to be successful if we have our own Wikipédia written in a good PortuguesePt. This is complicate, I know, but I don't see another way to solve the problem. If we want a solid building we need a solid basement, no matter how hard it is. Today's Portuguese young students deserve it. Nini00 (talk) 06:38, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

PS: Just to justify your hypothesis: "Perceived and real differences between written Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil;" This constant fight for a Portuguese version is a real one, and one of the reasons for Portuguese editors to leave. It happens lots of time: an article created with a PortuguesePt title is changed months after to the Brazilian version. For example: "Aterosclerose coronária" changed to "Aterosclerose coronariana" (*11h58min de 7 de novembro de 2007: Aterosclerose coronariana ‎ (← nova página: No detalhe as coronárias esquerda...) *11h59min de 7 de novembro de 2007:N Aterosclerose coronária ‎ (← feito redirecionamento para Aterosclerose coronariana). Obviously time to time the inverse happens too (but the try will be reverted quickly). It is sad to say but this is real. Nini00 (talk) 11:11, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Nini00. Thank you for joining in. Just to make it clear, I am not advocating in any way a separation of pt.wikipedia into a pt-pt.wikipedia and a pt-br.wikipedia, and that is outside the scope of the current proposal. I know that even with the language converter (still under testing) most of the grammar issues that you mentioned will not disappear, but fragmentation of the existing Portuguese language community will hardly be accepted by the larger Wikimedia community, and in my opinion will be more detrimental than beneficial. GoEThe (talk) 14:44, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Brazil catalyst and video tutorials[edit]

Just to point out, as mentioned in GoeTHe's announment on the Portuguese Wikipedia village pump, the Brazil Program also has in its plan to make video tutorials, thus the ideal would be to work together with Wikimedia Portugal volunteers and we are already discussing on how to work together on this, since our planning needs the community support to work better. --Ezalvarenga (talk) 20:15, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Hi Goethe. Hi Tom. I know, the ideal is really to work together. And you know that I fight for an unification of Portuguese language with the choose of common terms used in different versions of Portuguese language and helping editors with grammar correction. If I mention this problem here is because it is the one we must try to solve, after the video which is an excellent idea, and because it is also mentioned as an hypothetic problem at the top of this page: "Perceived and real differences between written Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil;" This is a reality. We must to face it if we want to solve it. Anyway I'm with you and I will work with all my possibilities to make this project a reality with the maximum respect for majority decisions. Nini00 (talk) 21:11, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Nini00, terrific. I just wanted to clarify my meaning, so as not to have any misunderstanding. Great to have you on board! GoEThe (talk) 14:03, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Video tutorials of high quality definitely make a difference in making it easier to learn to edit! I'd like to urge the Committee to support creating high-quality tutorials for both Brazil and Portugal, either through the present proposal or by some other method. Even with the Visual Editor, video tutorials will still make it easier for non-programmers to learn to edit. Djembayz (talk) 21:38, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

How I see our project[edit]

Stay together, Portugal/Brazil means power and a glorious future for pt:WP. So

  • We need more Portuguese editors:
  1. Publicity posters
    1. Town Council,
    2. Schools and
    3. Universities
  • Better reception to Newcomers
  1. Mentor system mandatory
  2. video, essential for instructions
  3. Aggression forbidden: it means that Talk page will be protected against bots if the newcomer has a mentor, but mentor will be advised instead the newbie (like transfer the call from newcomer to his mentor).
  • Language problems solved (here the collaboration and understanding coming from Brazil will be essential)
  1. Use of common words existing in the different Portuguese talking countries will be mandatory - correction can be made by bots.
  2. Grammar correction unfortunately must be hand made. I can do it (I hope to have some help from other editors) Nini00 (talk) 16:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Will you married me?[edit]

Grants:IEG/Convidando o Brasil

I was asked if I could adapt "my" grant, to his, I think you do in video tutorials, and mine too, and I think there are other things that might be related. Clearly I did the project for Brazil, but I think videos like this should work for both.

I'm tired of thinking alone how we can align ourselves, so I think it is worth discussing here how we could complement ourselves.

So honey, will you make me the happiest man on Earth, if you say yes. *-* Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton m 09:58, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Feedback and comments on proposal[edit]

Hi guys! Thanks for submitting this proposal - I know how difficult it can be to put ideas together! I've read over it and I have some questions and comments about what I've read. Feel free to ask me any follow up questions that you have :)

I noticed that the main reason you are undertaking this project is because you have discovered (through firsthand experience or otherwise) a decrease in participation from Wikimedians residing in Portugal. How have you learned this information? Has a survey of community members been conducted that gathered this information, or is this more something "you know" (I know what that's like). What projects are we talking about, is this primarily portuguese language projects, or are we including portuguese editors of other wikis? All this data will be very useful to know, especially if you have supporting evidence that shows the problems you are describing. If you don't have any at this stage, that's fine, but I would recommend you conduct a survey of the project you are going to focus on (I would suggest the Portuguese Wikipedia - you'll likely have the biggest impact there and if a project is successful you can transfer the ideas to other projects later).

The three main reasons that you've attributed the possible for the decline (that I understand) are difficulty understanding wiki-syntax (a common problem), editor preference to English version wikis over local language wikis due to the wider breadth of content that exists there, and hostility between editors. I have a few questions about these:

  • With the wiki-syntax issue largely being addressed by the WMF with the visual editor, how great an impact do you think that professional videos created for the interim period before the visual editor would have, knowing that they would need to be re-created when the visual editor is implemented?
  • Editor preference for editing English Wikis could be for a variety of reasons, breadth of content, stability of policy and community norms, and relations between editors. I really do think a survey of some kind would be beneficial here. You can formulate it to get just the answers you need - a brief demographic profile including where they edit and why (ie: why they edit English as opposed to Portuguese projects), learning about some of their experiences as editors (difficulties with syntax, article writing, conflict with other editors) and also getting ideas from them on how to improve the issues you see. It can be very difficult to come up with all the answers yourself, so this can be a useful exercise.

I really would suggest that a survey of some sort be your first priority, and then use the information you get from that survey to come up with the best possible approach to solve the issues you see. Of course, this is just advice. I hope it helps you in some way.

Regards, Steven Zhang (talk) 15:47, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Steven. Thank you for your feedback. About your first question, I was also concerned about this and if you notice on the "Tools, technologies, and techniques" section we do mention that we wish to coordinate with the development of the Visual Editor, but perhaps we can be more explicit that we wish the videos to show how things are done with the Visual Editor. As for the survey, I think that that is a very good idea. I will try to add that later today to the proposal. GoEThe (talk) 16:19, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I scrolled through your comments only quickly yesterday, and I think I did not answer everything. As I mentioned in the introduction, there was a media report that Portuguese editors were going extinct and at the time I thought the claim was not grounded on actual data, so I went digging a little bit and started an unofficial and not-systematic page to keep track of active users from Portugal, pt:Usuário(a):GoEThe/Wikipedistas de Portugal. With this, we figured that there are about 70 active editors from Portugal. Considering that there are 1500 editors per month with more than 5 edits, it is not a lot. Of course, if there is a more systematic way to count the number of editors from a specific country without having to rely on word-of-mouth and self-reporting, it could improve the statistics and I would love to hear about it.
The project I am mostly familiar with is Portuguese Wikipedia, so I am not sure of the situation in other Portuguese language projects. It could actually be interested to know what is going on with them, but perhaps that could be something for the future.
OK, I think I answered all of your points now. If there is something I missed, please let me know! Thanks again for your constructive comments. GoEThe (talk) 13:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
ocastro has some data and graphs on the editors decrease of the Portuguese Wikipedia. It is not as much as the English Wikipedia, but there is a decrease. She has shown me a graph comparing both recently. Ask her. But a quick look on stats.wikimedia.org can easily show that. --Ezalvarenga (talk) 13:17, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll do that. Obrigado! GoEThe (talk) 13:27, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Steven or others, is there some guideline or preferential host sites for surveys? GoEThe (talk) 13:52, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

WMF has some accounts on qualtrics. I share an account with Oona given recently by our bosses. Depending on me, I can create the survey for you. But I will check with high level staff. ;) --Ezalvarenga (talk) 15:35, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Cool! GoEThe (talk) 15:38, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Alto escalão permitiu, como viu por e-mail. --Ezalvarenga (talk) 16:28, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Perfeito, obrigado! GoEThe (talk) 16:41, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia Portugal[edit]

You mentioned that some of the ideas for this project came from discussions with Wikimedia Portugal. I'm curious to know why you have decided not to carry out these ideas as a chapter - particularly the local outreach and publicity part of the work, which would seem to fit pretty well within the framework of a local chapter. Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:11, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree with this point. Basically I don't think that the funding may be valid to cover the whole Portugal. I may agree if the project is focused in a specific region or town or in a specific event. --Ilario (talk) 19:31, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Several reasons, the main one being that the Chapter has no money. And it seems that the situation will remain the same for the foreseen future, as the chapter seems to be ineligle for FDC funding, as far as I understood it. At this moment, individual initiatives seem to have a better chance of succeeding than within the chapter. As for Ilario's concern or comment rather, if it is considered by the committee that there should be a narrowing of geographical scope, that would be fine with me. I should consult with Nini00, as I don't believe we are in the same city. GoEThe (talk) 17:35, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Is true we are not at same city. I'm at south of Portugal, you are at north I think. But we can do a very good work in these 2 different points and in my opinion is an advantage. Nini00 (talk) 18:16, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Of course, we can focus on two cities, Porto and Lisboa. GoEThe (talk) 20:02, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

A bit of more feedback[edit]

Hey Guys! Saudações! I was reading your proposal and it looks nice. Although, I'd like to see the budget breakdown with a bit of more explanation; mostly, the money you intend to spend on "Project management". As it is, we cannot really assess how that money would be invested, and it'll be of great help if you could explain a bit further what does fall under that category. Obrigado! — ΛΧΣ21 15:08, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Hahc21. Thank you for the feedback. I filled out that item of the budget based on what I saw in other proposals. For me it ment a stipend as compensation for a greater involvement of the participants in time-consuming tasks. GoEThe (talk) 17:29, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I must drive all the south of Portugal talking with teachers and other people to involve them in our project. Also I will need to reduce a bit my work time to do it. DocElisa (talk) 18:06, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes. I have realized that it may go to cover those things. Thank you. — ΛΧΣ21 18:15, 25 February 2013 (UTC)