Grants talk:PEG/WM IN/Program Grant Quarter 1 2013

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What the uses of the server(s)? To host the chapter Wiki? As a small chapter, who not to host the wiki on Meta, or on servers who support the chapters websites? Even when it come to host it, a shared hosting plan in every hosting company will be enough. WMIL pays 15$ a month for such hosting. If my calculation is right, WMIN is asking for about 1,000$? not the end of the world, but I think the chapter can amazing and great things with this money instead of paying for servers, which I'm not sure really needed. --Itzike (talk) 09:26, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

From Footnote [4]: Current servers were provided for free as a good will measure. But now the service provider has started asking for payment. So we are planning to shift to a Indian ISP. -- 12:18, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Itzike, the servers are used to host WMIN Chapter wikis (internal, members and public) and the WMIN blog. They are currently hosted by Manuel Schneider of Wikimedia Switzerland as a goodwill gesture. But our traffic due to high participation events like WLM India is hogging bandwidth and affecting the provider's commercial business. There are also instances of excessive spam, intermittent downtime and slow loadtime. As the provider then requested for payment for services provided, WM IN decided to weigh options and chose to transition to an Indian service provider. We believe this shift is essential and justified as WMINs community organising operation is expanding fast and robust wikis are needed to coordinate the geographically diverse Indian community's operations.--Sodabottle (talk) 20:38, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, I think this makes sense as an answer to why host on your own. But there's still the question of the hosting costs. What calculation was used to arrive at the 50000 INR figure? A quick search revealed a basic shared Linux server can be had for 700INR/month, at one provider for example. Or are there some statistics showing the load requiring dedicated hosting? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:58, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Asaf, the hosting option that we are considering is a VPS server + managed services. The VPS server costs around 1500 INR a month and managed services around 2500 INR a month. We have opted for managed services mostly because of the huge amount of spam we are facing. It is currently a huge drain on the EC and the volunteers to manage them. Recently we had one EC member and one volunteer admin work nearly three weeks full time to reduce the number of accounts from 70,000 to 700 (to make sure none of the legitimate accounts got deleted along with spam). The recent changes page in the public wiki captures the amount of spam we face. I dont have logs for the WLM shutdown that happened in June, but I understand any site notice linkage from en and other wikis causes huge amount of traffic. (past experience with WCI 2011 confirms this). And we are planning both a WCI and a WLM for 2013, so we need to put a professional solution in place. The spam situation in WMIN blog is more severe and we had to shut down login registration and comments permanently. Manuel himself offered a paid solution (of comparable costs) for a managed dedicated server. But because of the regulatory hassles over paying foreign vendors, we had to go for an Indian provider.--Sodabottle (talk) 22:33, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, this sounds reasonable. Are you actually sure the "managed services" feature would handle the spam problem, though? The table you linked to suggests you get a maximum of 3 hours per month. Do you expect that would be enough? Does whoever performs the "managed services" know how to deal with spam on a Mediawiki instance? I'm not questioning the need, mind -- I'm trying to understand how this would solve the problem, in practice. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:49, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
For solving the spam issue, in addition to the managed services, we are also considering putting in a moderately strong captcha for signup. Before handover we will draw up a detailed dos, donts and lessons learnt document for the person(s) managing the service. (We are still documenting what spammers have done) We think between an increased difficulty setting in registration, our collective preexisting knowledge, and a professional handler armed with this knowledge should be able to handle the spam issue. Also the 3 hours per month is changeable. The vendor has offered flexibility over price and other service items, provided we purchase services for longer terms (> 1 month). Once we have the budget in hand, we intend to negotiate for more personalised care /immediate response time for tickets rather than price. --Sodabottle (talk) 01:23, 2 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sounds good, thanks. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:38, 2 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'll still recommend not to select VPS, who need much more care. Shared hosting is still seem like enough for the need (again, most of the chapters satisfied with shared hosting..). If professional help is needed, you can pay for a developer to check the issue and add some spam-protector levels. But to have VPS, will mean that from now and next - you need to pay this amount of money and to take care for others tech-issues. Again, I'm not against, just think that I'll be happy if this amount of money goes to servers, will go to support your wonderful outreach projects.. --Itzike (talk) 07:45, 4 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]


Thanks for the submission. Given the fact that the application is over the course of three months of which two are already gone, I suppose the main purpose of this grant is to refund the expenses for the events that were already held in the two previous months. Can you please link to specific pages about these events and activities? Do you have any reports with more detailed documentation? What is the first track of the impact of this project to the defined goals? Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:07, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Kiril, I have added report / event links for most of the activities. A few of them are still coming in - will add them as they are submitted. Against the stated goal of organising / supporting a minimum of two events a month, we have performed very well. In February and March there were 9 and 6 such activities respectively. And the calendar for March looks already crowded. We have been able to support almost all of the activities organised by our community members. Not all of the 15 events have required funding from our side. By being resourceful, using the local resources as much as possible and using partner organisations, we have been able to increase the number of activities well beyond the planned 2 per month.
These events have sustained and accelerated the pace of community building in various parts of India. They have in turn generated various other opportunities for content and community development. For example the Creative Commons events in February have led to CC offering affiliate status to WM IN. TESS India program of the Open University UK has agreed to donate their teacher training educational content under a CC BY licence to Wikiversity. The Kanya Wizard event in Kanyakumari has led to an expression of interest from Government of Tamil Nadu about what they can do for Wikipedia. The Ta Wiki community is currently discussing a wishlist for the Government. The events have also led to strengthening of communities beyond the usual strong areas like Bangalore and Mumbai. Kolkata and Hyderabad have fledgling communities now. Chennai Wikimeetups have started again after a gap of two years. Gujarati community has started a series of events.
As for the effective measurement system, work is in progress. Our Executive Manager, working with other community members has devised a survey form for outreach event participants. We have started administering surveys for event participants. Provision of attendees names and wiki ids / email ids has been made mandatory (in the reports) recently for all chapter supported events. We have also running a pilot, person-to-person interaction during the events where volunteers talk to a cross section of participants and take down live in-person feedback. We are still working out a tracking mechanism for participants over a longer time period. In short, work on the pilot program for effectiveness measurement is in full swing. We will publish a draft model and preliminary report sometime in April mid.--Sodabottle (talk) 01:27, 4 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]


Who is the staff, how long is his/her contract and what are the tasks (s)he is supposed to do? Béria Lima msg 14:21, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Our Executive Manager (PT) is Sowmyan Tirumurthi [1]. His initial contract was signed in October 2012 for a period of six months, the Executive Committee now proposes to offer him a fresh contract for a period of one year once the current contract ends, subject to our securing funding and his acceptance.
I had a discussion on his role with Asaf a few days back here on meta. Do let me know if you want any further information on this. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 05:40, 2 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Measurement system for outreach events and salary rationale[edit]

Hello there! This is my first time participating in the GAC review process and I am very sorry that it took me so long to ask the questions below. I will understand if it is too late t answer. But, if possible, I would appreciate if you could share with us more details about the measurement system you are using for the outreach events and how you decided on the amount that is being offered as a payment for the executive manager. Do you have any available market data on similar salaries? Best, TSB (talk) 19:09, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

1) For the Outreach events, we are a) recording all the participants email / wiki user ids. b) taking live feedback about the impact of the event on their disposition toward becoming contributors b) After periodic intervals (how much we are still discussing) we send out surveys about have they registered / started contributing c) If and when we get their wiki ids, we will start mapping contribution levels (edit counts, no of articles created etc) over a longer period d) we will start recording if non content contributions (financial, more outreach opportunities, contacts etc) come from a participant in an outreach event. In short, we will start maintaining a database / facility that makes it easier to track if a participant did something after the event and if so what he did. (We are also thinking about measuring area impact of an event. For example an outreach event at a new city might produce no content or contributors but might end up being the starting point for off wiki coordination for that city's wikimedians and result in tangible results later. As this is very nebulous and hypothetical, we have to figure out a rational way to assign credit to a particular event.)--Sodabottle (talk) 15:59, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
2)A senior executive / program director position based in Bangalore is comparable with a senior project manager role in an IT company there (Bangalore is the centre of the IT industry in India). we can use's data for Project managers (full time). The job description demanded a highly qualified individual with enough field experience and people management skills. Also, we needed him to the chapter's on-the-ground point person in Bangalore, where the chapter is registered / located but where no current EC member is based on. We wanted the salary package to be comparable to industry standards to attract suitable and qualified candidates and comfortable enough for a part time employee to put in extra field work besides doing executive management --Sodabottle (talk) 16:44, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Report past due[edit]

The report for this grant is now more than a week past due. It was due on 30 June 201330 May 2013. Wikimedia India is currently out of compliance with WMF Grants Program requirements. Please contact grants at wikimedia dot or with questions or submit this report immediately. Best, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:39, 8 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You mean 30 May 2013? -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 13:06, 9 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I do indeed mean 30 May! Thank you, ɑηsuмaη! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 01:01, 11 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]