Grants talk:PEG/WM AM/Wiki Camp/Report

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Thank you for this very detailed and informative grant report and congrats on a successful grant! We appreciate the work put in to document and track this impressive project. We are also happy your work was recognized by the global community at Wikimania for being the "coolest project of the year".

We have a few follow-up comments and questions:

  1. The number of volunteers engaged in this project and preparatory work done to set up the camp is really amazing! It would be great if you could write a "how-to organize a wiki camp" blog post and/or learning pattern. Your experience in developing articles lists, editing themes, curating resources, managing the technical demands, and organizing diverse activities are really valuable and could be replicated by other movement affiliates.
  2. Thank you for documenting your learnings, especially from the first session of wiki camp. It's great you were able to adjust your program to make the second session even better. Holding workshops for non-editors before the camp begins is a great way to get them prepared for a successful session, as well as help WMAM assess potential participants if space is limited.
  3. Can you provide more insight into why the articles created by the Syrian Armenians were generally of lower quality? Was it a language issue? How can this be addressed in the future?
  4. It sounds like the photo expeditions did not got as planned due to a lack of camera equipment and skills. In future, will you plan for a more robust Commons project or focus only on article editing?
  5. Who received the operator salaries?
  6. You noted that 18 of the new editors have continued to edit after the camp and a number of (how many?) campers continue to be active in their schools. How are you following up with these campers and are they continuing to connect with each other?
  7. Considering the time and resources it took to organize Wiki Camp and the impact it had, do you plan on repeating this project next year?

We look forward to your responses and congrats again on a successful project! Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:06, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Dear Alex, thank you for your warm words and support. I'll try to answer to the comments and questions.

  1. We were planning to write a general blog post about Wiki camp Vanadzor 2014 as soon as the camp video would be ready. The blog post won't be a "how-to organize a wiki camp" post but a describing one. We have already described in details the organization steps in the camp report. We would be happy to help anyone interested in organizing a similar wiki camp.
  2. Thank you. The workshops helped us very much to make the second camp much more successful.
  3. The articles created by Syrian Armenians were of low quality mainly because of the language issue as you mentioned. As during the workshops organized before the camp we didn't have a Western Armenian editor, we couldn't evaluate participants' language skills (spelling, grammar, syntax, etc). As a result it turned out that most of the Western Armenian articles were wikified and corresponded to wiki standards but had many grammar and spelling mistakes. Now we have Western Armenian volunteers who improve the articles written during the camp and we try to find and involve more.
  4. One of the reasons the photo expeditions didn't got as planned was of course the lack of the cameras. But if we had necessary number of cameras available it would be very difficult for campers to take high quality photos during 70 people tours. Now we realize that the photo expeditions would have a success if they were organized with small groups. Besides the few photos taken by the campers were repetitive, similar, which we already have in Commons. In future we will again focus on Wikipedia and article editing.
  5. Gevorg Gharayan received the salary. He is the guy who made our previous video with AYB high school for free. The salary includes camp video shooting and making, which will be available soon as well as taking photos.
  6. 18 of the payable participants continued editing Wikipedia, 4 of them are active in their schools and universities trying to expand Wikipedia Education program and Wiki loves Science project. All the campers are connected with each other very much. Each Saturday they visit Wikimedia Armenia office, where regular workshops are organized. Besides 20 of the campers wanted to organize a small 2-day camp in October during their 1 week school vacation, which we did with great pleasure. The camp was organized in Tsakhkadzor and again they were editing. The expenses were covered by the campers in spite of their financial difficulties except the transportation.
  7. We are eager to organize an International Wiki Camp in 2015 where we will host participants from other countries' Wikipedia education program. We will again need WMF support. What can you advice us? Can we include the camp expanses in our FDC grant? Thank you.--Lilitik22 (talk) 11:15, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi Lilitik22. Thank you for the very clear responses. Yes, you can include Wiki Camp in your FDC grant request. In terms of the international aspect, I would encourage you to grow carefully beyond Armenian participants considering the experience you had with the Western Armenian editors. It sounds like you'll need a more rigorous acceptance process and to have camp leaders who can assist in the different languages representated. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 4 November 2014 (UTC)