CIS-A2K/Pilot Designs/Basic Community Building

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Introduction[edit]

The number of active editors in all Indic language projects is relatively low. As of December 2011, Malayalam and Tamil - which are the biggest Indic language wiki communities - have about 100 active editors. For most Indic wikipedias, the number of active members is less than 50. In some cases, the community does not exist or is at best a collection of editors and not a community in any meaningful sense of the term.

Challenges[edit]

Community building activities for Indic projects have many challenges - including:-

  • Awareness about Wikipedia
  • Awareness about Indic language Wikipedia
  • Awareness about contributing to Wikipedia
  • Lack of community interaction
  • Lack of momentum inside community
  • Lack of wiki projects inside wiki
  • Lack of outreach programs
  • Lack of motivation to stay in community
  • Font and browser support
  • Input method

Increasingly, the last two points - which are more technical in nature - are no longer felt to be real concerns.

Work[edit]

Work Detail
Desk Research
  • Understand the computer literacy in that language
  • Understand the basic online presence in that language
  • Understand the presence of the community in various online forums
  • Study the usage of language using the corresponding script for various online activities
  • Contact respective language bloggers and language online forums
  • Understand the nature of the language (outside wiki) community
  • Understand the nature of the language wiki community
  • Understand prior and existing community initiatives
Preliminary Community Conversation
  • Reach out to as many community members as possible and start introductory conversations with 2-3 of them
  • Introduce other community members (from other Indic communities) to them - and share community building lessons
  • Encouarge these 2-3 community members to start interacting with each other
  • Encourage them to start contributing to their language communities as well rather than just to wikis
Initial Efforts
  • Assist them to start mailing list for their language
  • Encourage more on-wiki communication especially on the respective village pumps
  • Encourage them to start online outreach (FB and other social networking sites)
  • Encourage them to organise / participate in any wiki meetup
Community Engagement
  • Facilitate meetups
  • Organise meetups
  • Organise outreach involving community members
  • Support on building FAQs and outreach presentation material
  • Train community members on how to do outreach - and encourage them to do outreach (and progressively do it independently)
  • Introduce and facilitate wikiprojects
  • Give them the list of articles every wikipedia needs to have, and assist them to prepare a separate list for their language and state
  • Assist them to install typing tool (narayam) in wiki
Hand Holding
  • Encourage meetups
  • Encourage on wiki communication
  • Encourage outreach involving community members, including providing leads of where outreach can be conducted
  • Problem solve on wikiprojects - by sharing best practices from other communities and projects

Measures of Success & Assessment[edit]

Process[edit]

Measure Objective Baseline Actual Assessment / Comment
Building connections with existing community members (at least one conversation on chat / email / phone / in-person with community members every fortnight) 10 for communities with less than 20 active editors zero as of October 2011 interacted with more than 10 community members through email/chat/phone/face-to-face/... Direct personal communication with editors and communication amongst editors is essential to community building
Prepare material for community adoption & adaptation Preparation of outreach presentation and FAQ booklet by Jan 2012 that are publicly available on the relevant language wiki na Helped to build FAQ booklet/basic training materials/basic setup for upload page, Narayam, etc. Small communities require support for many of the basic things
Number of outreach sessions attended by India Program Involvement of 2-3 community members including pre-session briefing to as well as hands-on outreach by community members na 2 outreach sessions attended by team - which involved 7 community members. In fact, the outreach session was almost entirely conducted by existing community members; India Program team provided guidance and support before, during and after the sessions. Training and sharing experiences with small communities are essential when building the capacity and confidence to do outreach - as they might not be familiar with how to do outreach.

Outcome[edit]

Measure Objective Baseline Actual Assessment / Comment
Contribution Number of edits on the wikipedia to increase 50% in 3 months over Oct - Dec 2011 levels Average montly edits in Assamese wiki between October - November was around 3000 and in December it was 5000, giving an average of approximately 3500 The total number of edits in Assamese Wikipedia was around 5000 as of April 2012 (indicating an increase of ~40%) As the community size is increased the community activity also gone up.
Community communication Number of non-article edits on the wikipedia to increase 50% in 3 months over Oct - Dec 2011 levels figures currently not available; being worked on figures currently not available; being worked on figures currently not available; being worked on
Community communication Number of meet-ups/outreach to increase to 1 per month in 3 months zero between Oct - Dec 2011 2 as of April 2012 Informal meetups have been happening since January - but it would be ideal if these were documented
Community communication Number of participants in meet-ups/outreach to increase to 5 in 3 months zero between Oct - Dec 2011 The first 2 meetups in January were attended by 30 people each Informal meetups have been happening since January - but it would be ideal if these were documented
Community collaboration Number of Wikiprojects to increase to 2 in 3 months with 2-3 active participants each zero Assisted the community to start the Physics project (5 editors) in 2012 February. Now there are many projects on various topics such as IT and medicine (3 editors each). Community has understood the importance of collaborative editing and has adopted it.
Community expansion Number of active editors to increase by 25% in 6 months 18 in Dec 2012 31 in April 2012 (increase of 72%) Expansion is clearly happening - and the momentum needs to be sustained, for which the upcoming Assamese Wikipedia 10th anniversary plans (in June 2012) will play an important role.
Community expansion Number of new active editors to increase by 5 in 6 months na 13 new editors added since December 2012 Expansion is clearly happening - and the momentum needs to be sustained, for which the upcoming Assamese Wikipedia 10th anniversary plans (in June 2012) will play an important role.
Community capability Meet-ups/outreach independently organised by community zero in december 2011 1 as of April 2012 Informal meet-ups/outreach have been happening since January - but it would be ideal if these were documented
Community capability Wikiprojects independently initiated and organised by community zero as of Dec 2011 6 at least (Assam, IT, medicine, photography, etc.) Community has understood the importance of collaborative editing and has adopted it.