Grants talk:Project/Giantflightlessbirds/New Zealand Wikipedian at Large

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Important: Change your proposal status from "draft" to "proposed" to submit by deadline[edit]


Please note that you must change your proposal status from "draft" to "proposed" to submit by your proposal for review in the current round. You have until end of day today to make the deadline.

Warm regards,

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

All sorted; thanks for the reminder. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 10:44, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 1 2018[edit]

IEG review.png
This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 1 2018 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 12, 2018.

The committee's formal review for round 1 2018 will occur March 13-March 26, 2018. New grants will be announced April 27, 2018. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 02:11, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Note on late addition of MCH support[edit]

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage finally confirmed that they would be interested in hosting a Wikipedian, and suggested some potential topics for the residency. I've added their information, although it came through a few days after the deadline for community review had passed, because it's useful for the review committee to know – but feel free to disregard it, of course. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 03:29, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Interesting. Given they use a CC-BY-NC license on, are they ready to convert to CC-BY-SA? Did you find out whether they have a real reason to use -NC (for instance, do they really plan selling that content?)? You can use Free knowledge based on Creative Commons licenses to show why certain licenses are different from what they might think. --Nemo 07:06, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Part of the discussion I had with MCH was on whether a NC license is useful; they agreed it wasn't clear how it was serving the goals of Te Ara. There are some reasons for restriction of Māori-related content, but otherwise there's a good case to be made for more openness, or as they phrased it "Updating our creative commons policy to support re-use of our text and images". So part of any residency with them would be working through a change of license for much if not most of Te Ara's content, which is pretty exciting, and another reason perhaps for this project to go ahead (endorse the grant if you agree!). —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 09:11, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
I fully expect MCH to follow the lead from with respect to Māori-related content, but I'm aware that they've been uncomfortable with their current licensing position for a while. Stuartyeates (talk) 09:32, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Really interesting project, but a few questions![edit]

@Giantflightlessbirds: This looks like a great project, and I am really excited to see the New Zealand community wanting to do a more systematic approach to the GLAM community -- there is a ton of interesting in #openGLAM there and we have great allies at institutions throughout the country. The Grant team staff asked me to take a look at the project, and I have a few high level questions:

  • First, why are you arranging these kinds of positions independently instead of trying to facilitate them through a meta-organization within the GLAM community? For example, in Scotland the Scottish Library Council acted as the host or in the Netherlands Erfgoed Gelderland facilitated connection and placement with the network. Typically this kind of network placement helps give access to an organization behind your work and would give you an organization who feels responsible for continuing the activity.
  • Though each residency sounds interesting, one of the principles roles of a Wikipedian in Residence is lasting institutional capacity to run and implement projects semi-independently of the local volunteer community. How do you plan to identify and train these partners within each org? What will help those allies reengage with the community once your presence is done? Do you have a project idea for that (i.e. an Art + Feminism, Wiki Loves, or #1lib1ref type campaign)?
  • In part, I am assuming, there will be a cohort of folks who you will identify as necessary core allies and advocates-- that would want to be further engaged in Wikimedia projects, and help you advocate for GLAM-Wiki work going forward. Though mailing lists and Facebook groups are good ways to help folks answer questions, they don't do a very good job at building the relationships and cohesion needed to form a working group within New Zealand. How do you plan to make sure that that network is not just dependent on you as a central, high bus factor node in the network?
  • Though I think I understand why you might want to present at GLAM conferences, for other folks reading the grant: Can you explain a bit more why presenting at these conferences is an important for the desired impact of this grant?
  • Per WittyLlama's comment, could you explain a bit more the long term impact you expect this work to have on a health of the New Zealand community? The outcomes you plan to measure are short term, but the vision that is implicit in much of your documentation (and explicit in your goals) seems to be what you really desire as a result.

I hope these questions help, and let me know if you would like any help finding examples, models or ideas from elsewhere in the GLAM-Wiki community. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 01:16, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the positive feedback, and I'll address these questions in stages. I don't have all the answers, so will be looking for advice, especially Wikipedians in Residence who've been working on building communities.

Individual organisations vs meta-organisations[edit]

  1. Unfortunately in NZ we're not blessed with GLAM-sector organisations like the Scottish Library and Information Council or Museums Galleries Scotland, tasked with providing "funding, research, advice and skills development". The closest in theory is National Services Te Paerangi, part of the national museum Te Papa, which delivers workshops and resources to smaller institutions around the country. Their budget has been cut recently, however, and I've twice approached them about collaborating on Wikipedia projects to no avail. Otherwise there are professional organisations supporting libraries (LIANZA and CONZUL), archives (ARANZ) and museums/galleries (Museums Aotearoa), but these mostly just organise an annual conference – they're not in a position to support a Wikipedia initiative long-term.
  2. The organisations who've offered to host don't fall under a single meta-organisation; only half of them are in the GLAM sector. This is deliberate: I cast the net outside the usual group of library/museum/archives, so potential hosts include a magazine, a wildlife sanctuary, a conservation society, a drama school, and a national insect collection. The goal was to recruit a wide variety of organisations that could act as exemplars for their peers. There's been so little Wikimedia activity in New Zealand that most museums, let alone research institutions or universities, are puzzled or dubious when I talk to them about developing a Wikipedia strategy. Even the Royal Society Te Apārangi, whose mission statement is to promote public understanding of NZ science, was unwilling to support a Wikipedian, despite having hosted a successful edit-a-thon just last year. Before we have support from sector-wide organisations in NZ, I think we'll need varied case studies of successful Wikipedian residencies to show people what's possible, which is one of this project's goals (and should have been stated more explicity).

More to come. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 19:31, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Ah, that helps alot! Thank you for explaining the background work you have done. I haven't seen any of this outreach reported in This Month in GLAM-- the Newsletter is definitely a great place to report both successful programs and other activities in the program space :D. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 15:35, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Building GLAM sector capability[edit]

One sector organisation we do have in New Zealand is the National Digital Forum, an annual conference in Wellington for heritage and GLAM organisations interested in digital projects. I've been part of Wikipedia workshops, panel discussions, and presentations there in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Based on discussions at NDF over the years, this is the strategy I'd follow.

  1. Staff education and training within each organisation, in the form of the usual staff presentations and brown-bag lunches, working out who the most Wikimedia-curious staff are and inviting them to help with the organised Wikipedia events at each residency.
  2. In larger organisations, helping staff set up informal "wiki teams" in-house to tackle a series of articles relevant to the institution but with no COI issues, like Sara Thomas did in Glasgow. My job during the year will be to check in regularly and make sure these groups don't get stuck and have access to any information and support they need, as well as connecting them to local meetups (more on this to follow). Any Wikiproject involvement (or any new projects) are likely to be thrashed out at this level, based on suggestions of staff "wiki-teams".
  3. Encouraging each organisation to add Wikimedia output KPIs to their annual plans – in the grant proposal, this is what I mean by a "Wikipedia strategy". This will require buy-in from management, but the goal is for the institution to declare that engaging with Wikipedia and Commons is part of its mission. I will be making the argument that this strategy should partially replace some other form of outreach so staff don't see it as yet another task to perform.
  4. Running a Wikipedia stream at National Digital Forum in November 2018, and making sure all staff taking part in Wikimedia projects so far have a chance to get together and share ideas and experiences. NDF tends to energise people and give them new ideas to take back to their own institutions, so my goal would be to report back on several case studies and answer questions. Also, I'll be needing to recruit several people to convene a similar Wikipedia presentation in 2019 to report on the rest of the residencies.
  5. Creating a GLAM-Wiki organisation within New Zealand. I'll be raising this at NDF 2018; I think there's finally enough GLAM sector support and interested people to start a national working group and information network on engaging with Wikimedia and open knowledge, and NDF is the perfect place to launch it. What would be useful would be some examples of the structure and activities of GLAM-Wiki organisations in small countries like New Zealand; I'm keen to learn what I can about what might work for us.

Something I didn't note in the grant, but which seems increasingly like a good idea, is working with the National Digital Forum by offering professional development: NDF runs a series of small regional un-conferences before the main Wellington event, and organises industry professionals to give "skill-share" sessions. I can add myself to that list of presenters, so could reach a much wider group of GLAM professionals than just the NDF attendees. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 08:04, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

@Giantflightlessbirds: This is an excellent plan: using the NDF forum to congregate folks, and a national working group through the NDF definitely follows in what we see as a successful model across the movement -- when the professional community puts voice to the importance of this work beyond the voice of Wikimedians, it creates a positive feedback loop that definitely should pay of in the long run! Putting Wikimedia metrics into institutional KPIs is a bit more complicated than it appears at first, because many of the tools we have (BaGLAMa and GLAMorgan included) require knowing a fair amount about the Wikimedia community -- so you may be called on to continuously support developing/running those metrics. I am also a bit worried about you doing both the local activities at so many institutions, and trying to keep an eye the national activities: remember there is only one of you, and a whole network to activate here, and the work will build up on its own. As long as you are conscientious about this, it shouldn't be too much of a problem however. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 15:42, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I think I'm pretty conscientious about these sorts of projects, but the work involved in balancing national and local activities is a concern. I was thinking about this when talking to Alex Wang today, and the best track might be to 1) delegate some tasks to the long list of very keen and in many cases very experienced volunteers who've offered to help and 2) work with the WMF to come up with a reasonable and realistic set of achievable goals for the year's work. No sense in my burning out. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 07:11, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Creating editor support[edit]

The goal of this grant is to start – just start – building a sustainable NZ editing community independent of me and what I’ve organised so far, one that’s not just restricted to the GLAM sector. The KPIs listed in the grant are measurable achievements I’m sure I can make happen in a year, but the larger goal of building that community is more than a one-person and one-year job. A mailing list doesn’t create a community, but it’s a good place to start (I’m now not as keen as I was when writing this grant proposal about Facebook as an organising tool, for obvious reasons). A mailing list will help address the big problem of non-conversion from the current type of Wikipedia event run in NZ, an awkward mixture of beginner training and edit-a-thon. Building a mailing list as a follow-up from workshops and editing events will help stop people from falling through the cracks, and will keep us in contact with people who are not yet checking their Talk page.

Building face-to-face support for local editors is something I’d appreciate some feedback from other Wikipedians in Residence: how do we nurture an editing community? I can see two strategies, both separate from and more low-key than the edit-a-thons that have been organised in NZ so far:

  1. Informal social meetups. From what I’ve read about supportive editor communities, Wikipedia editing is framed as a social activity, where people meet regularly to chat, have a drink, and also do some editing, rather like the way a knitting circle works. Some editors I’ve met find this idea anathema; they prefer to interact online. Which is fine, but we should be trying to reach outside our traditional user base. The informal meetups I’ve run have been "Wikibrunches" and "Wikidrinks": letting local editors know there’s a get-together in a cosy pub or cafe with good wifi to chat and make plans. Creating regular social get-togethers means I can back off from a role as organiser, and just encourage people who are obviously social nodes to step up and keep them happening.
  2. Reviving meetup groups. The model here is more like a meeting of a usergroup, like the Apple User Group I fondly remember being part of in the ’90s. People come together particularly to discuss the technology they share an interest in. Meetup groups seem to work quite well in large cities like London, and are potentially useful in Auckland and Wellington which seem to have the strongest mix of new and experienced editors. They were tried a few years ago and fizzled out, but I’m keen to see them revived, as meetups can be organised by anyone and don’t rely on me as a bottleneck. One big advantage I can see is a venue with a blank wall suitable for using a portable USB projector on from a laptop. Data projectors are shirt-pocket-sized these days, and being able to share a screen with a small group turns a social drink into discussion or trouble-shooting, which to me is the goal of a meetup or user group.

I'd appreciate pointers to strategies that seem to work for nurturing user networks. It looks like I'm going to the ESEAP meeting in Indonesia next month, so I'm looking forward to running a session with editors from a variety of countries to see what works for them. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 11:00, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

I don't have a good answer for you at the moment: most of the communities that I am aware of are dependent on central node personalities (i.e. a Wikimedian in Residence or a very enthusiastic coordinator) or a critical mass of organizers (thinking WMNYC or WMDC). Until you find that central node in an area, it's often hard to build that capacity in an area. There are a handful of successful groups in the Scandinavian context which focused on particular topics-- I believe there is an monthly OpenGLAM group supported by the SMK in Denmark, and I read about a Women writers editing group in (Norway?) -- and I believe that is the model of the WikiDonne group in Spain. At this point in time, the Movement doesn't really have internal infrastructure or practices for sustaining meetup groups, without someone wrangling them on on-wiki pages, mailing list, page, or Facebook. @Jason.nlw and Lirazelf: might have ideas -- there residencies have been really good at building critical mass. The other tactic, might be incentivizing the GLAM orgs to be the organizing hubs, per a model like: outreach:GLAM/Case studies/Catalonia's Network of Public Libraries. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 15:54, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Long term[edit]

You asked about longer-term goals as well. Once we have a healthy editor community in New Zealand, to the point that we can manage a national usergroup or a Wikimedia chapter, I can think of four long-term projects that I'd like to see pursued, and that I hope this grant can at least get started with.

  1. Helping build a consensus amongst GLAM institutions towards adopting open CC licensing by default for collections, ideally working with Te Papa's National Services (which does support copyright workshops around the country) and Creative Commons NZ. We need a model for small and medium-sized institutions, which tend to use All Rights Reserved or CC-BY-NC by default, and need to be persuaded that making images freely available will not affect their revenue stream. A good model for this sort of licensing can then be used to persuade research institutions, publishing houses, and citizen science projects like NatureWatch NZ to open up their image libraries too.
  2. Working with Open Science proponents in NZ to encourage local researchers to publish in open-access journals, by showing the effect Wikipedia citation has on the visibility of research. There's a strong Open Data movement in government, supported by Creative Commons NZ, and it would be good to have Wikimedia examples to back it up.
  3. Beginning the conversation with te reo Māori speakers about the future of Māori Wikipedia, which has been essentially stagnant for ten years. There is almost no Māori presence in the English-Wikipedia community in NZ as far as I can tell, and building that capability will be important, so we'll need to find ways for the editor community to support it. But ultimately the future of Māori Wikipedia has to be in the hands of te reo speakers.
  4. There's a philosophical clash between Wikipedian and Māori conceptions of knowledge. Wikipedia wants all knowledge to be available to everyone for free. Māori culture views knowledge as too precious and powerful to be given out to just anyone. These are incompatible views, and they're going to clash at some point. Wikipedia is going to become the main source of information about things Māori, and Te Mana Rauranga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, may well object to that. We need to start a conversation between Māori and Wikipedia, facilitated ideally by Māori Wikipedians, to resolve these issues.

Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 02:07, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Those sound like great long term goals -- the Creative Commons licensing thing is definitely a long term outcome I wouldn't expect much change quickly on that. As you start working with Māori community, I highly recommend connecting with the Whose Knowledge folks, and reading their reflections on practice for centering marginalized knowledge. Also @Smallison: who is doing great work with first nations communities in Canada see the blog post. It's important to keep in mind that these conversations tend to take quite a long time, and a very big investment in listening and working with the communities. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 16:13, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Too right. But glad to hear there are other people on the same road. I'll chase those links up. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 22:32, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Giantflightlessbirds: Just my 2p worth: here is another initiative from Canada that was presented at Wikimania last year and which was successful in developing a Wikipedia in a similar context — NickK (talk) 00:07, 10 April 2018 (UTC)


I mentioned that the National Digital Forum is the place where NZ GLAM people interested in digital projects network each year. Wikipedia has been on the agenda for almost all recent NDF meetings. It's the logical place to share information on this project and talk to institutions who might be interested in engaging with Wikimedia, so it's factored into the grant's budget.

I've also had some success presenting at conferences outside the GLAM sector, particularly professional groups who see science communication and outreach as part of their job, such as the Freshwater Sciences Society and the Science Commicators' Association of NZ. Next week I'm giving a talk on "Wikipedia as an outreach tool" to the Entomological Society of NZ conference, following up on the NZ insects edit-a-thon we ran last year. I'm especially interested in 2018/2019 in talking to education meetings, both high school and university-level, as Wiki Education has made hardly a dent in NZ so far. My plan, and I haven't heard of this being done overseas but correct me if I'm wrong, is to not just give a talk at a professional/academic conference but persuade them to tack on an edit-a-thon as an optional workshop as well, taking advantage of all these subject experts gathered in one place. So I do think presenting on Wikimedia projects outside of the traditional Wikimedia meetings has merit. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 08:12, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Pre-conference (or within conference) workshops definitely are the better model: I find that presentations may inspire folks, but they don't do much for getting them started. With workshops, at the very least you place the activity within someone's toolkit, so that when a professional opportunity reveals itself they can go act! Astinson (WMF) (talk) 15:57, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for New Zealand Wikipedian at Large[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:
  • Fits with strategic direction of knowledge equity by focusing on an emerging community. Also fits with strategic direction of knowledge as service by planning extensive outreach and engagement with GLAM organizations in New Zealand. Through the development of an editor support network, this project has tremendous potential for immediate online impact as well as sustained growth over time.
  • Repropose the usual WiR with a new formula
  • support for small languages and language communities is essential for their preservation. however, the proposed solution is not the best way for this particular case
  • I don't think 10 out of 10 on impact will be an overestimation: New Zealand has a huge potential, never had enough resources and was too often forgotten. Vast country, educated population, rich heritage, lots of GLAM institutions and poor coverage on Wikipedia. Developing a NZ community definitely has a huge potential, and the project plan is designed to allow sustainability notably by launching regular regional meetups.
  • I like the Wikipedian at Large model and am interested to see how this works for emerging communities in comparison to a more long-term WiR position. Risks are low. Goals are ambitious but not unrealistic.
  • there are certain measures that can be tracked
  • There is an extensive learning cycle behind this proposal: the applicant organised a number of projects in New Zealand first, worked with many Wikimedians involved in similar projects elsewhere, and will likely provide some useful outputs once this project is finalised. The idea in itself is a combination of a known WiR approach and of an unusual context. There are clear measures of success and good chances to create long-term impact.
  • This project is more traditional than other projects, but it also means that the risk of this project is low.
  • Applicant seems to be well-positioned as a GLAM professional to build partnerships and is clearly an active and dedicated Wikimedian with teaching/facilitation experience.
  • the budget is very unrealistic, too large for the expected results and does not show that it will "solve the problem" in the long run.
  • The applicant has the necessary skills to complete the project. The budget seems to be efficient as well. The concern is that it's hard to say if building a sustainable project in 12 months is possible, honestly it would be a bit too expensive without sustainability but in any case it's worth giving a try as results will be high even if it will not result in creation of a sustainable local community.
  • If the project team has more leaders, it will be better.
  • Community has been engaged; good to see endorsements from previous participants at events organized by the applicant, as well as support from some potential GLAM partners.
  • there is a list of user names that supported the project, but I'm not sure if it's realistic (from their comments) community support.
  • There is a very specific community targeted: New Zealand Wikimedians, with correctly more focus on English than on Maori. There is a good support from the community, with several active NZ Wikimedians also invovled in the project and a lot of useful advise from people from other countries. Developing an emerging community (as NZ is one) is clearly going towards diversity.
  • "For one year of living expenses and accommodation around New Zealand" is a nice sentence but means nothing in terms of project management. I don't know how much is the cost of the life in New Zealand, the best would be to provide references to check that this is really the right cost.
  • This grant proposition is highly innovative in its form ; Wikimedian in Residence programs usually start to be effective after a few months or more, and depend on the pro-active involvement of GLAM organization, which can best be shown by their willingness to contribute financially to the program. I think it would still be interesting to fund this grant as an experiment for short, traveling WiR, but for a shorter amount of time.
  • Reasonable approach, good plan and appropriate budget. For me it is a good project to fund as developing the community in New Zealand is really an important goal.
  • In general, I think this project is feasible. But, I think this project spend too much budget for expenses and accommodation. So, I think we need to reduce this budget and ask him to invite more volunteers to participate in this project.
IEG IdeaLab review.png

This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on March 1st, 2019.

Questions? Contact us.

Please note that these comments were presented by the committee prior to the interview, and so shouldn't be interpreted as a follow-up to the interview. --Marti (WMF) (talk) 16:16, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


I'm glad to see there's so much enthusiasm and support from the committee. There's some concern that the budget for full-time support for a NZ Wikimedian for one year may be too high, so I'll compile some information on NZ salary levels and accommodation expenses with references and post it here. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 19:48, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


There was quite a range of responses from the committee regarding the budget: from "appropriate" and "efficient" to "very unrealistic" and "too much".

The grant requested NZ$55,000 (US$40,500) for supporting a GLAM professional for one year. The average salary in New Zealand is NZ$50,000 (the median is NZ$43,000). The average salary for a librarian is NZ$54,139. I'm a museum curator at a provincial museum, earning NZ$60,000; curator salaries are higher in the cities, so I would be taking a pay cut to take on this project. It's worth pointing out that housing in New Zealand is the most unaffordable in the world; I would be spending a year living in five different cities, with my possessions in storage, relying on short-term leases, house-sits, and sublets. So I think the budget is quite modest.

There is a substantial amount budgeted for travel, over and above ordinary commuting, which is also realistic given the distances involved and the number of one-off events I'm likely to be running in different towns and cities. This has been costed at a standard government rate for someone engaging in work travel using their own vehicle, allowing for petrol and maintenance/repair. This could be cut if I undertook residencies in fewer cities, or just one, but that would be contrary to the goal of the project: to set up editor support networks in the four main centres.

In the "Conferences" section above I've made a case for the importance of giving conference talks and workshops, but a small amount could be saved by cutting that budget.

Should the host institutions be contributing financially? In an ideal world; but to date there has not yet been a single paid Wikipedian in Residence position in New Zealand. None of the institutions I approached were willing to contribute financially to a residency (I asked), and the possibility of having to do so was a deal-breaker. On the bright side, if this project is successful I suspect they will look more favourably on the idea of paid WiR positions.

Because the goal of setting up and supporting editor support networks will take time, I think cutting the budget and having the project run for less than a year would substantially decrease the chance of success. If I can eventually persuade some of the larger institutions to contribute financially, it would be better to use the funds to extend the residencies, not reduce the budget.


There was a suggestion the project needs more volunteers. This project has more volunteers participating, by far, than any of the other grants under consideration. The volunteers include five admins or near-admins, NZ's first Wikipedian in Residence, NZ's top Wikidata contributor, and the copyright specialist at our largest museum. There's also substantial community buy-in, as evident from the amount of support posted to the grant, the result of years of community-building work on my part. I think it's an excellent team.


The goals of the grant, very deliberately, do not include reviving Māori Wikipedia or building a Māori-language editing community. Many of the examples of small-language Wikipedia projects don't apply to Te Reo Māori; it's one of the official languages of New Zealand, with its own TV channel, and is taught in every school. Its situation is more comparable to Welsh Wikipedia, and what Jason Evans has done at the National Library of Wales. As such it would require someone who's fluent in Te Reo, preferably Māori themselves, and would be a completely different project. I hope to at least get the ball rolling with this grant by identifying Māori Wikipedians and discussing what would be required to revive Māori Wikipedia – it's an important project and needs to happen.

Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 11:43, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Selection criteria[edit]

I see a series of "I" in the section above, for instance "I would be spending a year". From my reading, the grant proposal did not clearly state that a person had already been selected to conduct the work and receive those funds (as contractor or whatever). For the best success of a Wikimedian in residence, we usually make sure that the person is selected through some objective and transparent method. Even if Wikimedia New Zealand doesn't exist, I'd expect a local cultural entity or nearby chapter to serve as fiscal sponsor, open a vacancy and then have a small committee vet candidacies. It doesn't need to be an open tender nor a large scale recruitment effort, but it's good to give others in New Zealand the chance to put themselves forward and to ensure that the selected person has passed an assessment against some basic criteria (such as knowledge of institutions, free knowledge and Wikimedia projects, plus whatever is appropriate in the local context).

Similarly, if donor money is spent on services for institutions, it's imperative to make sure that there is some benefit for Wikimedia. We often ask institutions to put their money where their mouth is, because it's the easiest way to ensure that we don't waste time and resources in entities which end up being a dead end for free knowledge. Without this filter, it becomes very important to have a process or some criteria to establish priorities. Otherwise at the end you'll be very sad.

My personal suggestion, to save time, is to require from institutions willing to participate that they release a small but significant amount of works in the public domain or free licenses before serious talks begin, or alternatively that they sign legally binding agreements to release a significant amount of materials (e.g. N thousands images) by the end of the partnership. This is especially easy for entities which already share their own work on Flickr, but even YouTube can be a matter of few clicks. I see that several of the mentions entities have some such channels and albums: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. If they're not willing to release a few hundreds items under a free license in a short time, I suspect it's not worth spending thousands of dollars on them. With such a selection process you might end up selecting some entity which is less fancy but more collaborative. At the end of the project, you need to have some concrete results in your hands, which will show other entities what they can achieve with a small investment. Otherwise this will never become sustainable. --Nemo 07:50, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm a bit puzzled by this comment. Can you point me to a project grant in the current round where the grant applicants are asking for funding for a position that they would then be interviewed for, with the chance that someone else might be better qualified and receive the funding instead? —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 19:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
While I see your point, I think this might be more appropriate if an institution were applying for funding to establish a position they would then interview candidates for – although even then, if I would dispersing funds, I'd much prefer to know who actually would be doing the work, rather than just trusting the institution to find someone. If an individual is applying for grant support (as is the cases in all the grants in the sciences and GLAM sector I've been involved with), they get the funding, and the interviewing and vetting is done by the grant committee themselves – the "objective and transparent" method you mention. It's pretty clear from the grant proposal that a "person has already been selected" (it's me – see paragraph 4 and most of the rest of the proposal).
Having an institution put up funds for a WiR is of course no guarantee that the residency is not a dead end. For this grant, I've gotten commitments from all the institutions concerned to release images to the Commons. If they turn out to not have much to release, it will be a pretty short residency; I have plenty of other organisations keen to participate. The details of course will be negotiated in advance with them, and run by WMF staff to make sure expectations are reasonable. Making them sign "legally binding agreements" to release thousands of images is probably not the way to start.
It's also worth noting this grant is not solely, or even primarily, about releasing large volumes of material to Commons; it's about choosing projects with institutions that establish an editing community in NZ. I would rather work with an organisation that commits to hosting a weekly editor meetup and supports them with resources and images than a larger institution that just dumps a thousand municipal sewage planning maps in the public domain! Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 23:43, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

Round 1 2018 decision[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, US$45,407 (NZ$61,853)

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support this experimental cohort-oriented approach to developing GLAM partnerships. We appreciate the professional GLAM background and experience the applicant will bring to building new partnerships.

Prior to finalizing a contract, we ask that you provide a job description specifically outlining the activities of the WiR role (we are now making this request of all WiRs).

Please note that we consider funding for WiR activities to be short-term. Grant funding that the Wikimedia Foundation provides for WiRs is not intended to support ongoing workflows, but to leverage the partnership to build a sustainable platform that ensures outcomes long after the WiR has completed their service. Their work should secure long-term outcomes that do not depend on ongoing grant funding.

New grantees are invited to participate in a Storytelling Workshop on June 5 and a publicly streamed Project Showcase on June 14. You can learn more and sign up to participate here: Telling your story.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!

Questions? Contact us.

@Giantflightlessbirds: Great that you have been funded! I look forward to connecting with you more as your project continues -- let me know if you need support/advising. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 14:39, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Alex! I'll certainly be leaning on you for advice over the year, and it would be good to have input into the agreements with individual organisations to make sure everybody's expectations are aligned. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 21:12, 21 May 2018 (UTC)