IRC office hours/Office hours 2010-07-15

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Jul 15 09:00:28 <cary> First let me apologize for the short notice.
Jul 15 09:00:59 <cary> I was out the last three days and it was my responsibility to notify everyone of today's office hours.
Jul 15 09:01:39 <cary> And failed to schedule my time effectively.
Jul 15 09:01:59 <cary> So, today's office hours have Frank Schulenburg. I'm hoping Pete Forsyth will join us later on.
Jul 15 09:02:19 <cary> And Frank, would you like to say something about the current status of Public Outreach to get us started?
Jul 15 09:02:30 <fschulenburg> Sure
Jul 15 09:03:00 <fschulenburg> First of all: thanks to all of you who're attending this office hour
Jul 15 09:03:38 <fschulenburg> I came back from Poland a few days ago
Jul 15 09:04:26 <fschulenburg> In Gdansk, I had some good conversations about Public Outreach and the current projects we're working on
Jul 15 09:05:00 <fschulenburg> I hope the video of our presentation about "Using Wikipedia as a teaching tool" will be online soon
Jul 15 09:05:29 <fschulenburg> "Public Outreach" is a weird term -- it doesn't exist in some languages
Jul 15 09:05:47 <fschulenburg> and it's difficult to translate
Jul 15 09:06:22 <fschulenburg> So, let me start with a short outline of what our work is about
Jul 15 09:07:06 <fschulenburg> Our main goal is to encourage non-contributors to start contributing
Jul 15 09:07:32 <fschulenburg> and to help them during their first 100 edits
Jul 15 09:08:04 <fschulenburg> We're currently working on educational materials
Jul 15 09:08:34 <fschulenburg> and I invite you to take a look at
Jul 15 09:08:35 <fschulenburg>
Jul 15 09:09:04 <fschulenburg> which will be ready for distribution in a few weeks
Jul 15 09:09:41 <fschulenburg> Another material is the "Using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in higher education" brochure
Jul 15 09:10:13 <fschulenburg> Both materials will be tested at universities in the upcoming fall semester
Jul 15 09:10:46 <fschulenburg> As for the teaching tool brochure, I will travel with Rod and Annie to some universities next week
Jul 15 09:11:11 <fschulenburg> and talk to instructors. Based on that feedback, we will finalize
Jul 15 09:11:32 <fschulenburg> that deliverable. It will be a living document and we hope
Jul 15 09:11:55 <fschulenburg> that we can continuously work on improving it
Jul 15 09:12:31 <fschulenburg> In August, the first Campus ambassador training will take place
Jul 15 09:12:58 <fschulenburg> It's going to be a three-day training event
Jul 15 09:13:26 <fschulenburg> The campus ambassadors will help instructors to use Wikipedia as part of their courses
Jul 15 09:14:21 <fschulenburg> To encourage more people to contribute, Jay and I are working on user testimonial videos
Jul 15 09:14:32 <fschulenburg> We've had a film crew at Wikimania
Jul 15 09:14:52 <fschulenburg> and we got back with tons of exciting interviews with Wikipedians
Jul 15 09:15:26 <fschulenburg> who've talked about why contributing to Wikipedia is fulfilling, about what their role is, etc.
Jul 15 09:15:44 <fschulenburg> These videos wil be online by the end of August, early September
Jul 15 09:16:10 <fschulenburg> We will also start experimenting with new tools
Jul 15 09:16:29 <fschulenburg> that will help new contributors to make their first steps
Jul 15 09:17:18 <fschulenburg> So, that's it. It's a lot of work and I'm happy about the progress.
Jul 15 09:17:52 <fschulenburg> Are there any questions about these projects?
Jul 15 09:18:13 <fschulenburg> hi Jan_eissfeldt, Ziko
Jul 15 09:18:20 <Ziko> hello
Jul 15 09:18:35 <fschulenburg> I just gave a short update on the projects we're currently working on
Jul 15 09:18:53 <cary> So
Jul 15 09:19:05 <cary> Ideally, Questions should be framed as follows:
Jul 15 09:19:22 <cary> QUESTION: Did you learn anything at Wikimania?
Jul 15 09:19:58 <Nemo_bis> QUESTION: Did you prepare any "measures of success" for the project (say, number of articles improved, number of participants, etc.)
Jul 15 09:20:22 <cary> I'm not a fan of moderating this channel, as people are generally good about self-moderation, but general chit-chat should be taken to #wikimedia-office-talk
Jul 15 09:21:02 <cary> Thank you, Nemo_bis
Jul 15 09:21:14 <fschulenburg> Thank you for your question, Nemo_bis
Jul 15 09:21:35 <fschulenburg> The success of the initiative will be measured in two key areas:
Jul 15 09:21:52 <fschulenburg> (1) Improvement of the specific topic area
Jul 15 09:21:56 <fschulenburg> and
Jul 15 09:22:17 <fschulenburg> (2) overall process improvement of educational experience and materials
Jul 15 09:22:56 <fschulenburg> As for (1), we started with establishing a baseline of quality for the existing content
Jul 15 09:23:14 <fschulenburg> which we will compare to the article quality at the end of the project
Jul 15 09:23:42 <fschulenburg> The success of the project will be based on the following indicators:
Jul 15 09:23:48 <fschulenburg> * number of new articles
Jul 15 09:24:00 <fschulenburg> * improvement of existing articles
Jul 15 09:24:11 <fschulenburg> * improvement of the structure/categorization
Jul 15 09:24:36 <fschulenburg> * growth in number of participants editing in the topic area
Jul 15 09:25:13 <fschulenburg> As for (2), we will measure the improvement of the educational program through continual evaluation and refinement
Jul 15 09:25:44 <fschulenburg> We will undertake surveys, in-classroom observations, evaluation forms, and qualitative discussions with participants
Jul 15 09:26:03 <fschulenburg> Also, a "lessons learned" session will be held at the end of the spring semester
Jul 15 09:26:12 <fschulenburg> (Done)
Jul 15 09:26:38 <cary> Great. how was that Nemo_bis ?
Jul 15 09:27:02 <Nemo_bis> Ok, thank you.
Jul 15 09:27:08 <cary> Next question?
Jul 15 09:27:19 * StevenW raises hand
Jul 15 09:27:33 <fschulenburg> Hi StevenW
Jul 15 09:27:37 <StevenW> Hi
Jul 15 09:27:39 <StevenW> Could you clarify what you mean by improvement in structure/categorization? It seems to overlap with article improvement to me.
Jul 15 09:27:43 <cary> StevenW, hey
Jul 15 09:28:07 <cary> for anyone who missed the instructions...just ask the question as follows:
Jul 15 09:28:21 <cary> QUESTION: How will you ... ?
Jul 15 09:28:27 <Ziko> QUESTION: I don't know whether this is the good place to talk about. I thought once about a kind of Wikimedia Yearbook, or Handbook, with useful information about WM. As a basis for outreach and research
Jul 15 09:28:29 <cary> No need to raise hands or ask.
Jul 15 09:28:35 <StevenW> Ah, thanks cary.
Jul 15 09:28:42 <fschulenburg> StevenW: Sure
Jul 15 09:29:25 <fschulenburg> When we wrote the project proposal, we looked at the existing structure
Jul 15 09:30:06 <fschulenburg> and we found that in the area of public policy, theses structurs are generally incomplete or poorle organized
Jul 15 09:30:21 <fschulenburg> I'll give you an example:
Jul 15 09:30:59 <fschulenburg> The public policy category had 18 articles directly attached to it and 14 subcategories
Jul 15 09:31:15 <fschulenburg> These subcategories show no consistant organizing principle
Jul 15 09:31:59 <fschulenburg> Organizational entities such as "public policy by country" are mingled with opicla entities like "energy policy" and entities on a different systematic level,
Jul 15 09:32:22 <fschulenburg> such as "public policy research"
Jul 15 09:32:46 <fschulenburg> some categories, such as "energy policy" are subordinate not only to the top-level category
Jul 15 09:33:20 <fschulenburg> "public policy", but also two levels down. This is an example of what is commonly referred to as "overcategorization"
Jul 15 09:33:56 <fschulenburg> beyond these structural issues, larte parts of what is usually defined as public policy are
Jul 15 09:34:12 <fschulenburg> inadequately represented in Wikipedia's public policy category tree
Jul 15 09:34:35 <fschulenburg> some policy areas are only represented by subtopics, others are missing entirely
Jul 15 09:35:06 <fschulenburg> Does that answer your question?
Jul 15 09:35:11 <StevenW> Perfectly.
Jul 15 09:35:12 <StevenW> Thanks.
Jul 15 09:35:59 <fschulenburg> Cary: Do you want me to continue with Ziko's question?
Jul 15 09:36:00 <cary> next question is from Ziko
Jul 15 09:36:02 <cary> yes
Jul 15 09:36:03 <cary> <Ziko> QUESTION: I don't know whether this is the good place to talk about. I thought once about a kind of Wikimedia Yearbook, or Handbook, with useful information about WM. As a basis for outreach and research
Jul 15 09:36:34 <fschulenburg> Ziko: Can you describe what you were thinking about?
Jul 15 09:37:11 * _Pmlineditor_ (Pmlinedite@wikimedia/pmlineditor) a rejoint #wikimedia-office
Jul 15 09:37:30 <Ziko> From time to time people ask me about this information or where to find that. I myself often have to look and search for statistics etc.
Jul 15 09:37:55 <Ziko> How many editors, what do we know about vandalism, how many chapters, how many have personnel
Jul 15 09:37:56 <Ziko> etc
Jul 15 09:38:19 <Ziko> It would be nice to have that collected somewhere, in an editored piece that is updated once in a year
Jul 15 09:38:37 <Ziko> not some place at Meta plus at Outreach plus at WMF site
Jul 15 09:38:48 <Ziko> that's what I meant
Jul 15 09:38:53 <fschulenburg> Ok, thanks
Jul 15 09:39:20 <fschulenburg> At the foundation, we have a short document that is maintained by Jay
Jul 15 09:40:28 <fschulenburg> It shows the current number of unique visitors, and some other numbers
Jul 15 09:40:35 <Ziko> I thought about a pdf for activists, journalists, scientists, something for the public
Jul 15 09:40:58 <fschulenburg> Yes, I see what you mean
Jul 15 09:41:19 <fschulenburg> And I agree with you that such a document is very helpful
Jul 15 09:42:00 <fschulenburg> I can talk to Jay and see if he has some resources to work on such a public document
Jul 15 09:42:29 <Ziko> ok, thanks
Jul 15 09:42:58 <fschulenburg> As I said before you joined the channel, my current focus is on encouraging non-contributors to start editing
Jul 15 09:43:26 <Ziko> yes
Jul 15 09:43:43 <cary> Okay, next question?
Jul 15 09:44:31 <Ziko> QUESTION: Maybe i missed that - are civility problems a concern for getting new contributors started?
Jul 15 09:44:38 <cary> very good question.
Jul 15 09:45:01 <fschulenburg> Yes, they are a concern
Jul 15 09:45:13 <Ziko> i know it is a big subject by itself, but when writing a brochure it is useful to find a way to "prepare" newbies
Jul 15 09:45:45 <Ziko> "don't be offended if someone calls your new article crap, that's just the wiki way"
Jul 15 09:46:00 <fschulenburg> Ziko: I don't have the final answer to this issue. And I think nobody has
Jul 15 09:46:19 <fschulenburg> I still remember my first experiences
Jul 15 09:47:15 <cary> I think I'm understanding the question a bit
Jul 15 09:47:33 <fschulenburg> I started editing in 2005. At that time, people in general were much more welcoming than today
Jul 15 09:47:37 <cary> should we have some documentation that one's initial experience with the community can be disheartening?
Jul 15 09:48:16 <fschulenburg> I would like to know: Why did the culture change that much?
Jul 15 09:48:43 <cary> Ziko, am I reading your question right?
Jul 15 09:48:43 <fschulenburg> Is the current community aware of how disheartening it can be to start editing?
Jul 15 09:48:50 <Jamesofur> I feel sad that we even have to... but to be honest it may be helpful (disheartening can at times be an understatement :/) not totally sure the best way to say it though
Jul 15 09:48:55 <Ziko> Frank: I am not sure - did it? I remember some rugh comments when I started in 2003
Jul 15 09:49:16 <Ziko> Cary: yes
Jul 15 09:49:19 <fschulenburg> I can just tell you about my own experience
Jul 15 09:49:33 <fschulenburg> And I think the culture changed quite a bit
Jul 15 09:49:47 <Ziko> actually we do not have a thorough study about the development of civility, it would be difficult to do
Jul 15 09:50:49 <Jamesofur> fschulenburg: it seems a good portion of them do notice it, it is brought up frequently on mailing lists or wiki posts etc but little is done partially because there seems to be a not small group who either sees "protecting the projects" as more important or sees it as an issue but not something that "they do"
Jul 15 09:50:54 <Ziko> in my text book i have a section about the problem, and i give advice what to do (where to call for your "big brother"), and end it with mentioning that most communication IS good. it's just the bad that is kept better in the memory
Jul 15 09:51:24 <Jamesofur> I think you are usually right Ziko
Jul 15 09:51:46 <fschulenburg> Jamesofur: I agree
Jul 15 09:51:47 <Ziko> Jamesofur: yes, it is that attitude, that has also positive sides
Jul 15 09:52:11 <Ziko> "the project is important, not the newbies' feelings"
Jul 15 09:52:21 * Jamesofur still thinks mass use of template messages are partially to blame
Jul 15 09:52:42 <fschulenburg> Yes, I strongly agree.
Jul 15 09:52:59 <Jamesofur> aye, but of course the flip side is that without newbies the project can stagnate
Jul 15 09:53:27 <Ziko> fschulenburg: indeed, no perfect solution
Jul 15 09:53:30 <Ziko> exists
Jul 15 09:53:46 <fschulenburg> In think personal interaction with a new contributor is much better than putting a template on the talk page
Jul 15 09:54:04 <Nemo_bis> QUESTION: How work on Wikipedia will be part of university courses? I mean, e.g. italian uni. students don't have homeworks at all, and they don't have to prepare final papers and so on, except for some (rare) workshops, even in Literary faculties. According to you, is there some risk that the experimented system could be hardly reusable in other countries depending on education systems?
Jul 15 09:54:31 <fschulenburg> That's why I think that mentoring programs and live chat can help new contributors to feel more welcome
Jul 15 09:54:35 <Jamesofur> aye, even the welcome template seems glaringly "a bot put this here" or similar
Jul 15 09:55:13 <Jamesofur> generally the ones who come into -en-help I think tend to leave in a much better mood about it all (tend, sometimes they just meet up with people who don't help much)
Jul 15 09:55:26 <cary> I see we have a few minutes left--maybe address Nemo_bis' question?
Jul 15 09:55:36 <fschulenburg> Sure
Jul 15 09:57:02 <fschulenburg> That's interesting
Jul 15 09:57:37 <fschulenburg> I never heard that Italian students don't have to write
Jul 15 09:57:56 <Nemo_bis> At university.
Jul 15 09:58:53 <fschulenburg> In cases like that, the model of "Using Wikipedia as a teaching tool" won't work
Jul 15 09:59:09 <Nemo_bis> There are witten exams, even if in humanistic faculties there are mainly oral exams.
Jul 15 09:59:46 <Nemo_bis> Wow, you're pretty clear cut here.
Jul 15 09:59:51 <rdunican> Nemo_bisIn regards the Italian students not having homework, obviously the program would require some modifications. Much of the work to be completed could be changed and worked on during class periods.
Jul 15 10:01:06 <Nemo_bis> And what about other education systems? Is the Italian one unique?
Jul 15 10:01:39 <fschulenburg> Nemo_bis: So far, I haven't heard about education systems that have no writing assignments on the university level
Jul 15 10:02:23 <Nemo_bis> Thank you.
Jul 15 10:02:25 <fschulenburg> But I'm very interested to learn more
Jul 15 10:02:45 <Nemo_bis> What do you want to know?
Jul 15 10:02:46 <fschulenburg> Maybe we can have a skype call and you can tell me more about the Italian model
Jul 15 10:02:55 <cary> Okay
Jul 15 10:03:03 <Nemo_bis> Ok.
Jul 15 10:03:05 <cary> That sounds like a good follow up
Jul 15 10:03:16 <cary> If you have any further questions for Frank
Jul 15 10:03:22 <rdunican_> nemo_bis: after speaking with many people using Wikipedia in the classroom, this is the first time I have heard of a University system that does not have writing assignments.
Jul 15 10:03:27 <rdunican_> Thanks
Jul 15 10:03:27 <cary> he can be reached at fschulenburg (at) wikimedia (dot) org
Jul 15 10:03:33 <Nemo_bis> I already tried to involve a university professor who is also a WM-IT member in the Bookshelf project.
Jul 15 10:03:44 <fschulenburg> Thanks Cary, thank you all
Jul 15 10:03:55 <cary> Thank you Frank, and all the participants!
Jul 15 10:04:01 <cary> Next office hours is next Friday
Jul 15 10:04:03 <fschulenburg> I have to go. I'm in my next meeting at 10:00
Jul 15 10:04:06 <cary> Sue Gardner will be the host!
Jul 15 10:04:24 <cary> from 15:30 PDT to 16:30 PDT
Jul 15 10:04:27 <Ziko> bye, thanks
Jul 15 10:04:37 <cary> or 22:30-23:30 UTC