Grants talk:PEG/User:DrMel/Wiki Edit-a-thon Work Parties

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This is our first time applying for an IdeaLab grant, and we've come in just as the deadline is closing so we haven't been able to connect with others as much as we'd like to. We would love to share what's working and not working for us with anyone else with shared goals. We've got some great experience with volunteer and student recruitment and editathon facilitation.

Eligibility confirmed, Inspire Campaign[edit]

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This Inspire Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for the Inspire Campaign review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review begins on 6 April 2015, and grants will be announced at the end of April. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us at grants(at)

feedback and comments from Thepwnco[edit]

@DrMel: hello and congratulations on having your grant proposal confirmed as eligible for review! I have a few comments & questions for you:

  • I like the idea of trying to make editathons easier for people to host! However, I'm also aware of a number of materials that already exist for this purpose, for example Wikipedia's "How to run an edit-a-thon", as well as the resources coming out of Art+Feminism. How would your guides differ from these ones? (Apologies - but it wasn't clear to me if what you were proposing to do was to analyze, compare, evaluate and test existing materials in order to develop your guide and best practices for the particular communities you're engaging....can you confirm if this is your plan?)
  • I also really like the 'pay it forward model' and the idea that your participants then go on to host their own editathons. I think you could definitely add to your budget, which is quite small right now, in order to support these events and associated costs (venue rental, food, etc.).
  • why focus the editathons on topics in applied psychology? I assume this is related to your project but am curious to know whether there is enough interest in this topic within the communities you intend to recruit from.

cheers. -Thepwnco (talk) 14:24, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal feedback[edit]

Hi DrMel. Thanks for submitting your project idea and for your work as a volunteer! We are doing our final review of grant proposals and it would be great to hear your responses to Thepwnco's questions above as well as our remaining questions below:

  1. It would be great to capitalize on your experiences in the education sector, working with students. Please let us know a bit more how you plan to recruit women for the events. Will you be targeting mostly students?
  2. In addition the editathon resources listed above, there is also the Systemic bias workshop kit, which is a great intro to hosting an editathon, and compilation of editathon resources, and learning patterns related to best practices for editathons.
  3. It would be great to have more concrete measures of success. Please see the program resources for editathons for suggested measures. We're particularly interested in the number of events, number of female participants, number of articles written/improved with gender-related content, and the number of participants that remain active 2 months after the event.
  4. We have found that one-off editathons are not very successful in terms of content creation or editor recruitment. What does prove to have more success, are a series of editathons that engage repeat participants, with follow-up between sessions online. Let us know if you're interested in this type of model.

Thanks for your time. We look forward to your responses. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for feedback! Answers to your questions[edit]

Briefly, we are very flexible and would prefer to build upon existing materials and best practices rather than starting from scratch.

We intend to coordinate an ongoing set of meetups (monthly if possible) in the San Diego area and now have the capacity to recruit and include both Spanish and English volunteer editors (Ricardo is fluent in both, and a fantastic facilitator/teacher/coordinator). The grants emphasis on engaging female volunteers falls very easily in with our groups of volunteers, who are predominately young women. In introducing them to wiki-editting, we are working to instill wiki-editing into their habits, so that whenever they are doing research papers or are reading wikipedia articles that they could improve on, they take the time to make that contribution, and get the buzz from having helped.

Our emphasis on articles related to applied psychology is based on our own mission of helping people maximize quality of life, through improved understanding and mastery of why we do what we do. our volunteers could work on any articles - whatever someone is personally inspired to work on - the high traffic applied psychology articles are just where we expect to start. And our current volunteer pool includes a lot of psychology students (with a higher percentage of women than men).

I have a depth of background in learning design and assessment, and totally agree with collecting as much quantitative and qualitative data as we reasonably can, both about what people do and their experience and intention to do more. We love using data to help refine what we do, and can track whatever you'd like. If you'd like to see what I've gotten from a group of students we taught to edit in the past, you are welcome to look at these survey results: I think the Q8 responses are the best, giving people a chance to say how the experience made them feel. And Q9 primes participants to "Pay It Forward." When we have time, we would love to followup with our previous participants to see if their wiki editing habits have changed. For now we want to focus on getting more editors, especially young women.

We would be grateful to receive more than the $100 requested to support the event costs, and could document the specific needs/budget we'd expect per event. But we are more interested in being among the Inspire Campaign grantees than in the total $, especially on this first application. The credibility of being within the list will help us with our potential funders. Thank you again for your consideration!

ps - we are eager to collaborate with other related wikiProjects as our time and resources allow, and I am happy to advise or participate in any wikimedia activities where you think I could be of benefit. More about my skills set on LinkedIn: DrMel (talk) 22:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi DrMel. Thanks for your thoughtful responses. A couple of follow-up questions:
  1. I understand your current pool of volunteers is predominantly women, but it would be great to know if you have specific plans for outreach to women for your future events. Since you mention students, are you working mostly in partnership with a university?
  2. In terms of measures of success, it would be great if you could add the measures I suggested above to the proposal page, with your proposed metrics.
  3. It's great that you're receiving so many in-kind donations for the events and we definitely support continuing that! However, we are also happy to review a revised budget that includes more event expenses.

Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Alex! Thanks for the additional questions. It's great help for us to make things more specific.

Our plans for more targeted outreach to women, to fall within the objectives of this grant, include:

  • the design of our monthly events as social occasions, open to all comers, with an emphasis on being female friendly
  • specific language about this grant and its goals in our event marketing, focused on increasing women's ongoing participation in wikipedia editing
  • opportunistic recruiting of more female editors whenever we are meeting people, describing wikimedia's need and intention to address the gender imbalances in the current editor base
  • encouraging participants to develop articles, new and existing, that are more connected to women's issues. I'm finding it hard to find the politically correct phrasing for "women's issues." But examples include articles related to psychological challenges women frequently face, like self esteem, depression, and anxiety, and the research associated with each. Our participants' specific interests, especially students in psychology, will guide a lot of the article selection.

Beyond our meetup and word-of-mouth recruiting, we are recruiting through partnerships with Philip Zimbardo and his [], [], [], and are also recruiting participants from [], with microvolunteer challenges already up like [1] and [2].

I've updated the proposal page metrics section to match better with your requested metrics. I am somewhat obsessive about data collection and getting feedback from participants in anything I do, and will be happy to share whatever I gather (except for the confidential stuff, of course).

If asking for more grant funding now is suitable (wow! that's awesome!), then we would like to request $250 per event for 3 events, for a total of $750. Anything would be wonderful, so we can work with whatever you have available. What would you recommend I do to update the proposal without reducing our chances of getting approval?

Thanks again for the continued dialog! We're excited to be building our volunteer service-learning program with a lot of emphasis on building the wiki editing community! Especially bringing in women editors!

As an extra note, I'll mention that I managed a nonprofit ISP back in the 90s, with a tiny budget and 70 volunteers, almost all male techies without a lot of gentleness with new volunteers. I definitely understand why women who have dabbled on wikipedia as editors (including myself) have found the hassles discouraging and felt that our time has been wasted. My specific example: edits I had made on articles I am a subject matter expert in were removed with very snarky comments about how my edits had been stupid to add (ref emotional contagion and Paul Potts). I could have understood having someone improve on my word choice to make it more wikipedia like, but the added content was simply removed. I havent made the time to fight the battle for adding them back. Critical to making it easier for them to contribute successfully is making sure their time isn't wasted when they do add content in good faith. This is one of the reasons I am looking at as a suitable site for directing my volunteers to; with so many fewer articles and editors there, I am hopeful we will run into fewer unpleasant interactions. And I would welcome your suggestions on how to minimize and manage those unpleasant interactions in ways where my volunteers don't get turned off.

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wiki Edit-a-thon Work Parties[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • It has a local focus and the editathon is a well-tested model to contribute and spread Wikipedia in a community.
  • Seems like it has the potential to have a positive impact on the Wikimedia movement, both in terms of bringing in contributors from under-represented groups and in terms of content creation.
  • Like the angle of "How To," but feel the proposal as vague. Would like to see more development re: the specific impact. Is the focus on reaching out to the Spanish speaking community?
  • Would be great to see some community notifications and outreach to relevant WikiProjects.
  • The target community is diffuse, but there is a plan to engage that community repeatedly, and its diffuseness is also a sign of its diversity. Like that the project is looking towards making edit-a-thons easier for other people to host and targeting Simple English Wikipedia.
  • The Systemic Bias Kit would be useful for this group!
  • The budget is quite low. Would recommend focusing the proposal and increasing the budget as needed.
  • Would like to know more about the measures of success. They don't seem to align with the goals right now.
  • The qualitative metrics of success seem solid, but it does seem like they need to add some measurable quantitative metrics in order to make the results easier to compare and share.

Inspire funding decision[edit]

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Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project and Event Grant through the Inspire Campaign.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, 750 USD

Comments regarding this decision:
Thanks for engaging in the Inspire campaign! We’ll be in touch about setup soon.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement.
  2. Review the grant implementation information.
  3. Start work on your project!
Questions? Contact us at grants(_AT_)'

Interim Report on progress to date[edit]

Link to Report: Grants:PEG/QoL-X/Wiki_Edit-a-thon_Work_Parties/Report/Q1

User:Rocky92591 (talk) 15:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok. I don't understand some items, like the need for SurveyMonkey and, but this looks like a honest local meetup/club. It would be even better if you linked some usernames and/or their contributions. Nemo 14:12, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Report due date changed[edit]

As discussed on our call, the new report due date is September 1, 2016. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:49, 5 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]