Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Identi.ca, Tumblr, other feeds, etc.) have gained a lot of popularity especially among the 18-25 age group, and are most used by users above 35 years.
Social media platforms can be effective platforms for the Wikimedia movement because:
- They are inexpensive ways of wider outreach
- They are highly scaleable
- They use easier interfaces and are capable of simplifying/demystifying Wikipedia
- These services also offer analytics (like Facebook Insights already being employed by the Wikimedia India chapter page)in order to really measure the reach of online engagement
Anecdotal evidence suggests that these have been used effectively to support community building and attract newbies to projects. Experience has informed that they can be a gateway to the movement and a medium for certain forms of communication, but must also be treated as a gateway only - and the constant endeavor has to be to encourage folks to move to on-wiki channels.
Social media platforms can be a way to inform non-editors about our projects, as well as to increase the visibility of our projects. They will not directly lead to increased editor numbers - but should encourage more non-editors to try and learn more about editing (through workshops or connecting them with community members.)
In this context, the objectives are to use social media to
- engage a wider audience for outreach (get newbies for outreach sessions, stay in touch, follow up, initiate discussions) as supplementary tools to on-Wiki discussions
- encourage readers to move on to actual wiki editing by attending wiki workshops sessions or connecting them with experienced editors or pointing them to online resources where they can learn about editing
- help Indic language communities gain visibility
- connect with journalists, bloggers, tweeters for local+live coverage
- Make guidelines for optimal use of these platforms, such as
- how to make pages for the community
- how to create and manage event pages before meetups
- how to publicize meetups and how to encourage attendance of potential new editors
- Work closely with interested community members to
- encourage them to make and maintain such pages
- invite social network friends and followers to attend outreach session
- celebrate community sucesses such as wikiprojects or great quality articles
- post about community events before and after the events
- follow local newsmakers as well as influential people related to the free knowledge movement
- keep an eye for conference announcements, related news stories, research postings, educational organizations
- use metrics/analytics to measure impact and re-work social media tactics
Social media tips
- Build and manage a language/city Wikimedia FB group
- Give admin/moderator access to active community members.
- Post regular updates of meetups, events, photographs, info about future events.
- Share keywords to enter, pages where to post, whom to link - all with the intent of going viral, where approporiate
- Add local journalists, bloggers and FLOSS folks on it.
- Find connected relevant portals and establish a posting chain
- Post weekly topics of discussion or thoughts, propositions for new projects, requirements for editors on ongoing projects.
- Always moderate discussions to avoid going OT.noguarantorloan.co.uk Otherwise every platform becomes the same.
- Why is FB different from mailing lists or village pump? Understand your audience-->Pure Outreach, potential to engage young people/students/retirees who spend most of their time FB'ing.
- Avoid using jargon or post snippets to explain Wikitext everyday. Example: "What is 'edit'?" or "Today's Wikiword:Talk page"
- What works better on fb than on Twitter? What works better on Twitter than on fb?
- Do you use twitter at all, and if not, what can you use it best for?
- How does one most effectively manage a twitter handle?
Social Media Pilot-Odisha
- Write to 3-4 potentially interested members of the Odia community
- Organize a virtual conference (skype, hangout, call or IRC) with all interested members to discuss the existing situation, explore possibilities, explain benefits, adapt plans as necessary and agree next steps
- Identify upcoming events / milestones / intiatives over the next 3 months
- Intially focus on 2 channels only - Facebook & Twitter
- Demonstrate systematically best practices and use of all these
- Show the nature of platform, target audience, how to write posts, updates
- Encourage the use of personal / community blogs in Odia - which (to begin with)attracts more outsiders than Odia wiki currently does
- Update status/tweet with interesting facts about Odia Wikipedia community and project (e.g., good quality article, wikiproject output, etc.)
- Implement this social media vehicle for 3 months
- Measure success in terms of page visits, likes, number of newbies joined, discussions initiated
- What are we seeking to message?
- What is Wikipedia?
- Do you know who edits Wikipedia?
- Did you know it exists in Odia?
- Why do people edit?
- Activities of the Odia Wikimedia community
- Celebrate individual editor stories
- Did you know that you can also edit Odia Wikipedia?
- Why should you edit Odia Wikipedia?
- If you are interested in editing Odia Wikipedia, how could you learn more about it?
- The following aspects should be kept in mind
- Care must be taken that social networks such as Facebook are only a point of entry - and that people actually move on-wiki
- Messages should be short and clickworthy e.g., "Odia community meetup on xx at xx! Join us and discover more about how to participate in Odia Wikipedia!"
- Emphasise the love for Odia langauge, which is (arguably) one of the single biggest motivators for Indic language wikipedians.
Social media monthly plan
|Week 1||Introduce Wikipedia||22-28 April||Messaging week 1||To be added on 28 April||TBM|
|Week 2||Do you know about Odia Wikipedia?||29 April-4 May||Messaging week 2||To be added on 4 May||TBM|
|Week 3||Who edits Wikipedia?||5-12 May||Messaging week 3||To be added on 12 May||TBM|
|Week 4||Why edit Wikipedia?||13-19 May||Messaging week 4||To be added on 19 May||TBM|
|Week 5||Why edit Odia Wikipedia?||20-26 May||Messaging week 5]||To be added on 26 May||TBM|
Messaging week 1
- Objective: What is Wikipedia?
- Wikipedia is the free online encyclopedia!
- Which is the one place that you go to find information for your assignments? (Solicit responses)
- Share featured article of the day + 1 DYK = Did you know XXX? Go check this out!
- Status updates
- Finished XYZ homework/assignment/found out about XYZ! Thanks Wikipedia!
- Hey, want to know more about Wikipedia? Are you attending the XX wikipedia meetup in XX? Everyone is welcome!
- Hey people, we have created a page for the Odia Wikipedia community, please join us and add your friends too!
- Hey guys (to Odia WP page) only 12 members to reach 500! Please add your friends and spread the good word!
Messaging week 2
- Objective: What is Odia Wikipedia?:
- Did you know Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia exists in Indian languages?
- Odia Wikipedia now has XX articles. It is the XX largest Indian language Wikipedia! Share this for Odia pride!
- (Crowdsource articles) I just expanded the XX article on Odia Wikipedia (link). Can someone find me more info on XX?
- Status updates
- Even Wikipedia has XXX articles in Odia! When will Facebook start for Odia?!!!
- XX current news information/celebrity article DYK. Does anyone know more about XX? Help me expand this article!
- <Insert Odia Wikipedian name> just created this article on Odia Wikipedia! Congrats for increasing our knowledge today buddy!
Messaging week 3
- Objective: Who edits Wikipedia?
- Wikipedia #101: <Insert definition of an editor> (Can do at least 6-7 such posts a week)
- Check out this really cool presentation by <Insert username> on Odia Wikipedia!
- Do you and your friends want to know how Wikipedia works? Comment on this post and we'll come to your college/school to teach you!
- Status Updates
- (By this time, start giving a sneak peek into the Wikiverse) I just got a barnstar for improving XX article on Wikipedia! Thanks XX! :)
- (Crowdsource for interaction) Hey guys, I just improved the XX article on Odia Wikipedia. Can someone help me find more info?
Messaging week 4
- Objective: Why edit Wikipedia?
- Get blog posts, 10 line notes profiling Odia community members
- Get one editor to post a note, 5 others repost, make it viral
- Emphasize the 'love for sharing free knowledge'.
- Status updates
- Announce meetups, google hangout sessions to teach Wikipedia editing
- Post Commons FAQ poster, statistics on Wikipedia in diffnt languages
- Post articles available for translation
Messaging week 5
- Objective: Why edit Odia Wikipedia?
- Emphasize love for language now. Do you love Odia? Help preserve and increase knowledge on Odia Wikipedia!
- Love Odia? Want to improve your writing skills in Odia? Join us on our Wiki mission!
- (Emotional connect) On the birthday/anniversary/occasion of XX, help us improve this entry on Odia Wikipedia! Long live free and open knowledge!
- Status Updates
- Had a wonderful experience/discussion today with fellow Wikipedian XX on XX. Made this article on Odia Wikipedia within 2 hours!
- Guys, there is no article on XX minister/sports player/musician in Odia Wikipedia! This <noted Odia personality> must have a Wiki page. I am making one tonight, drop in a comment and we can improve it together!
|Objectives||Tasks||Things to do/not do||Example|
|Build a mentor base||
|Stream Wikipedia information||
|Initially engaging newbies||
|Make a username database||
|Maintaining regular activity||
|Newbie task 1||
|Newbie task 2||
|Newbie task 3||
|Newbie task 4||
|Newbie task 5||
|Language of messages||
|Keeping policies for later||
|Maintaining outward focus||
|Keeping it fun||
Measures of Success and Assessment
|Measure||Objective||Baseline||Actual||Assessment / Comment|
|Prepare guidelines/tips for social media||Share these in Odia with the community||na||to be filled in when completed||to be filled by end May 2012|
|Demonstrating how best to do facebook & twitter posts||Add regular updates+demonstrate to outreach members how to use these||na||to be filled in when completed||to be filled by end Aug 2012|
|Increasing visibility, maintaining interaction||Suggest social media targets: (illustratively) 10 monthly posts, 30 tweets etc, follow up with newbies||na||to be filled in when completed||to be filled end of Aug 2012|
|Measure||Objective||Baseline||Actual||Assessment / Comment|
|Audience||Number of followers engaged thru Facebook/twitter to increase 200%||current level of Facebook followers||to be filled in by end Aug 2012||to be filled in by end Aug 2012|
|Activity||Number of messages, posts, stories translated+sent to newbies||keep stats of existing members on Odia fb page||to be filled when complete||to be filled in by end Aug 2012|
|Editing||Number of newbie editors whose wiki journey started through social networks||na||to be filled in by end Aug 2012||to be filled in by end Aug 2012|
- Mashable report on Facebook average age http://mashable.com/2011/11/18/facebook-stats/