Grants talk:PEG/Open Labs and Youth Center Borderless/OSCAL/Report

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Reallocation for Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL) 2015[edit]

@Leeturtle: I moved your comment here from this page, to make sure it will be seen by program staff, since we generally have discussions about reallocations right here on the page specific to your grant report. Cheers! Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 18:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi @AWang (WMF): After Open Source Conference Albania 2015 (OSCAL) (Grants:PEG/Open_Labs_and_Youth_Center_Borderless/OSCAL/Report) we have a remaining fund of 400$ due to the limited time as explained in the report. We were not able to print the promotional materials on time for the OSCAL conference even though we managed to have a Wiki booth and a prize for the Wikipedia editathon winner.

We kindly ask you to reallocate the remaining grants for Wikipedia Weekend 2015 (second edition) since it is considered the biggest next event of our community. you can find all the details about Wikipedia Weekend 2015 here: Wikipedia Weekend in Tirana 2015. Waiting for your reply from your side in order to proceed with grant application of Wikipedia Weekend in December 2015.

--Leeturtle (talk) 17:50, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi Leeturtle, please hold on to the unspent funds while you submit a grant request for Wikipedia Weekend in Tirana 2015.--KHarold (WMF) (talk) 22:46, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

WMF comments[edit]

Thank you for your work on this grant and for submitting this report. You shared many details about the activities conducted at OSCAL on the talk page of the grant request, so it is interesting to read about what you have learned in the month following the event. Although you did not meet goals around participation and content creation, it sounds like OSCAL participants have come to meetups in Kosovo, participated in the organization of WLM and Wikipedia Weekend. Increasing participation in offline events is a challenge for many organizations, so you should be proud of this accomplishment.

  • It is wonderful that the community of active volunteers has grown from 2 to 5 in the last year. What factors do you think led to this increase in volunteers?
    • Offline meetings are probably the key factors that led to this increase of volunteer participation. As well as the organization of weekly Wiki Caffe-s, where participants were first presented with the mission and purpose of Wikimedia. Our local hackerspace (Open Labs) has also helped in hosting these meetings and gathering participation in our events since youngsters hang around the space almost on a daily basis. Although the concept of wikipedia in Albania is considered new for most youngsters we'd like to stress out the fact that these offline activities are now becoming a very productive routine and sometimes led by new contributors such as Denisa Rucaj with little to none supervision of the core team.--Leeturtle (talk) 12:44, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • On the talk page of the grant request it says that 5 people participated in the Wikipedia editathon, but in the report it says there were 30 participants. Does the 30 participants include people who attended workshops and sessions about Wikimedia, or were they involved in something else?
    • Yes, we are referring to people that attended the Wikimedia related sessions and workshops. In addition there were also people that used the same account (from the same machine) to edit Wikipedia articles. We did this to gain time from the process of registering a new account, which in retrospective was something we should have avoided as well, since this is not the right process. In addition there were also people that did not participate in the workshop, but were just present in the event, which we can also consider a positive outcome, since this was their first contact with Wikipedia in Albanian.
  • How many participants from OSCAL will be participating in Wikipedia Weekend 2015? In what ways are they participating?
    • Considering the interest and the data on Meta page and Facebook event, almost all of them are participating at Wikipedia Weekend 2015. One of them (Denisa Rucaj) has also applied as a speaker. The others are just participants, but we hope to have them as presenters until the call for presentation process is closed in the last week of November 2015. --Leeturtle (talk) 13:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Have you tracked whether new users from OSCAL events are still editing? How many are involved in offline events?
    • Denisa Rucaj (now she is one of the main coordinators of Wikipedia Weekend and a speaker), Elona Canaj (she is mostly translating from and Fjolla Beqiraj are some of the participants we have identified. As mentioned before we hope to improve the tracking of contributors in the near future in order to have better reporting. --Leeturtle (talk) 13:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

It is good to hear that the lessons you learned while applying for the grant have been useful to your group. Please provide a budget that shows how you propose to spend the remaining funds as well as measures of success for the event. We look forward to your response. Cheers! --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

    • There is a detailed answer to this posted here. Kindly let us know if it is required to be posted in this page as well. --Leeturtle (talk) 13:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Hi Leeturtle, thank you for replying to our comments. It is great to hear that offline events are popular in your community and require little supervision. Would you be willing to share more details about how your wikicafes and regular events at the Open Labs hackerspace are planned, so that other program leaders can learn from your experience. For example, how long are the events, what kind of organization do they require, is there a set agenda or schedule, and any other details that you think have made those events successful? It is a good idea to track event participation and new editor retention more closely. The easiest way to start this is by [event pages] and asking participants to sign in with their user name. For regular events like the wikicafe's you could even use the same event page, but start a new section for sign-in every week. You can learn more about how to collect and track information about participation here: We are pleased to accept this report. Please hold on to the remaining US$400 while we review the request for Cheers! --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 22:22, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Hello KHarold all the activities including WikiCafes are organized firstly in the mailing list of Open Labs. This means that community members share the idea of an invent firstly there and a specific proposal about how the event will be organized and promoted. In addition all the proposals are discussed in the weekly meetings the community hosts at our hackerspace every Wednesday at 18.00. This is the moment where we also vote for the event and take a decision. In the same meeting we also decide about the leading person or team of the event that will be responsible for the logistics, maintaining the space and promotion. Of course there is always involvement from the community when the event is bigger (for example Wikipedia Weekend in Tirana). We also have a Telegram group, which is used only for fast communication between community members, but not an official channel for decision making. All our activities are promoted through our website, mailing list, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram chat. Main events also have media coverage sometimes, although we are having a hard time explaining them what we exactly do. Thanks for the approval, we have learned a lot from the whole process from our side and for the next projects, events and grant applications we will definitely use a dedicated page and ask participants to sign in. Please don't hesitate to contact us for any additional questions and thanks to all the team for guiding us through the process. --Leeturtle (talk) 15:16, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Hi Leeturtle, it sounds like having a weekly meeting in the same place at the same time, as well as tools for sharing ideas and updates with people who can not attend meetings makes it easy for people to get involved in planning projects and taking on volunteer roles. My understanding is that hosting the events and WikiCafes at the hackerspace, which already has an active community, has helped the Albanian User Group attract new volunteers. Did I interpret that correctly? You might find the following resources useful to develop more effective strategies for communicating what you do with the media: How to prepare for media interviews, Movement Communication Skills Toolkit. If you do not find these resources helpful, please describe the challenges or issues you would like to resolve on the talk pages. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Indeed KHarold, that is correct. We have found the physical space to be crucial for the growth of our community especially the last year. By the way we have started already to implement your proposal for the registration of usernames and the contributions of articles in a specific Meta page. For Wikipedia Weekend volunteers have already added the articles that they are planning to improve or create during the event here . There are more almost 20 articles already added at the 'Proposed articles to be created/improved during the event' section of the page and a new contributor already created an account as a result of this process. We will document all the new volunteers that will create a Wikipedia account as a result of Wikipedia weekend at the 'New contributors added as a result of the event' section of the same Meta page. Thanks for sharing the 'Communications/Movement Communications Skills' toolkit. It's for sure what we needed at this point before our big event. I'm sharing this with the team!--Leeturtle (talk) 10:38, 13 November 2015 (UTC)