These Learning Days marked a new milestone in capacity development, as we work together to expand the framework for capacity development keeping program coordinators and community organizers at the heart of the project.
In early August 2017, we celebrated the 10th issue of Learning Days, which took place in the pre-conference days prior to Wikimania Montréal. We hosted 96 community members, and 14 Wikimedia Foundation staff members. This was the second iteration of the Leadership track, and we were happy to see more community members stepping up to present something they learned. Of the total community members that participated, 29 (30%) nominated themselves to teach or share what they know, in the following way: 6 people co-present or co-facilitate a session; 20 community members presented a lightning talk, and another 4 presented a poster. Aside from these, there were 3 community members who fully led their sessions: Jan Apel and Elisabeth Mandl, from Wikimedia Deutschland, led the session Campaigning for new editors; Rosie Stephenshon-Goodknight led the session Group Consensus Building. In terms of content type, we 35% of the sessions we offered were training workshops, and 65% of sessions were interactive or participatory sessions.
This time, leadership sessions were distributed across both days. In this issue of Learning Days we used our comprehensive feedback form, that allows participants to share something they liked best about the session, something they would suggest to do different next time, and something they plan on doing in the next 30 days, based on what they learned.
In the near future, we will continue to host learning days, in partnership with Wikimedia Communities. The next issue will be held in the days prior to Wikimedia Conference 2018. We hope to see more, and new, community members join the two days of training, and we also hope to support more community members to share what they know by co-leading a session, or presenting a lightning talk or poster.
- Further reading:
A survey process for hearing diverse Wikimedia voices
The first report for the cross-department collaborative survey to learn from Wikimedia communities shows data on community health, collaboration, technology, fundraising, awareness, and more.
Activities in the last 12 months.
Percent of participants who began contributing from 2001-2016.png
In order to cultivate learning, dialogue, and improved decision making between the Foundation and multiple community audiences, in 2016 the Wikimedia Foundation initiated Community Engagement Insights. Under this project, we collaboratively designed the Wikimedia contributors and communities survey, with Foundation staff. The survey was designed as a single questionnaire to measure the performance of the movement in different areas, and it holds hundreds of questions. It was sent to many different Wikimedians, including editors, affiliates, program leaders, and technical contributors. After completing our basic analysis, we shared what we learned, and what we are going to do with it, in a public presentation held on October 10.
What did we learn?
In terms of response rates, we had 26% (4,100) response rate from editors, 53% (127) response rate from affiliates, and 46% (241) response rate from program leaders. Volunteer developers were not sampled, and we got 129 responses from that audience group.
We explored three different areas or themes. In the area of Personal information, we found that while the percentage of women contributors is still below 15% across all regions, the number is higher when it comes to leadership roles: 25% of program leaders are women, as well as 28% of affiliate representatives. The majority of editors who responded to the survey came from Western Europe (44%), followed by Eastern Europe (15%), South America (11%), and Western Asia (9%).
Looking at Wikimedia projects environment (a different area), we learned that 31% of all survey participants have felt uncomfortable or unsafe in Wikimedia spaces online or offline. Also, 39% agree or strongly agree that people have a difficult time understanding and empathizing with others. When rating issues on Wikipedia, the top three were vandalism, the difficulty in gaining consensus on changes, and the amount of work that goes undone.
Wikimedia Foundation programs is the third area we explored. Programs include Annual Plan programs that are aiming to achieve a certain goal, like New Readers or Community Capacity Development, and also other regular workflows such as improving collaboration and communication. Focusing on this goal, the Support and Safety team at the Foundation offers services to support Wikimedians. They learned that an average of 22% of editors across regions had engaged with staff or board of the Foundation.
The survey’s full report has more data yet to be explored. Find information about community health, contributor satisfaction with software, fundraising, capacity development, collaboration and more!
We are now working on the 2017-18 survey. If you’d like to help us spread the word about the project in your community, or would like to help in other way, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Further reading
blogs, events & more!
Every month, we share knowledge with a focus on programs, process or tools on Wikimedia Foundation's blog. Find all our entries on the Wikimedia blog
Featured blog posts:
Last year, we experimented with Community Engagement Insights—a comprehensive project to hear from Wikimedia contributors, and gather input to design Wikimedia Foundation programs and support.
Sixteen years after the creation of Wikipedia — the largest free encyclopedia in the world — the movement behind this collaborative project, Wikimedia, is asking a very important question: what do we want to build together in the next fifteen years?
January 22-23: Mediawiki developer summit
Wikipedia Loves Monuments: how to upload a file to the site of the contest
WMIL's toolbox for encyclopedic writing - the landing page
Editing Talk page Screenshot of WMIL courseware
Wikimedia Israel has developed various outreach and training programs and tools. The development process and the programs' implementation are based on two principles: what the missing topics are and how newcomers could provide them. We do not assume that newcomers will become regular editors on Wikipedia, nor do we try to guide them through the Hebrew Wikipedia community life. We offer tools that will enable them to create the kind of articles that the Hebrew Wikipedia lacks.
Naturally, this approach exposes the new editors to potential misunderstandings with the long-standing Wikipedians, as they are left unfamiliar with the code of conduct of the local community. Nevertheless, our experience shows that some basic directions about dos and don'ts are enough for beginners. Such directions would be: write an edit summary before saving, always provide inline references, check messages on your personal talk page, etc.
An example for this approach is the article expansion program, which guides the new editors on how to add new paragraphs to existing articles. A step-by-step guide shows the editors how to open their own account on the Hebrew Wikipedia, how to find their article, how to add a "work in progress" template to the article, and how to use the visual editor to actually add their content to the article.
All of these steps are crucial for the actual creation of content. We do not explain how to handle the article's talk page, how to ask questions in the "village pump" and we do not direct the editors to pages about the pillars of Wikipedia or any other general explanations. The idea is: add your content first, then, if you wish, ask how to become a full-fledged community member.
- Further Reading:
Welcome to the AffCom corner! This is a new space to learn about affiliates news and processes.
The Affiliations Committee (The AffCom) advises and makes recommendations regarding the recognition and existence of Wikimedia movement affiliates: local chapters, thematic organisations, and user groups. The AffCom is also involved in supporting affiliates in a variety of ways, including supporting affiliates through their development or supporting affiliates in resolving disputes. The AffCom is a group of 6 to 15 volunteer Wikimedians representing communities all over the world. This committee members serve two-year terms. In this section, we hope to share information about the groups work, that can help aspiring groups to better understand the processes to become an official Wikimedia affiliate.
In the month of September, 1 new group was recognized: Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia. The local community first started activities in August 2007, when they created Wikiproject:Malaysia. In the past three months, 2 affiliates were de-recognized: Wikimedia Macau and Wikimedia Macedonia.
What is required to become a Wikimedia Foundation affiliate? The first thing any community should know is that there are 3 affiliate models: user group, thematic organization, and chapter. While there are different requirements for recognition, the first 4 are the same for any aspiring groups: offline and online activities to support Wikimedia, notification of changes to government documents or leadership, compliance with movement policies and governing principles, collaboration with other affiliates and projects, and a summary or detailed annual report published on Met-Wikimedia.
Stay in touch with AffCom!
The Program Evaluation & Design portal has tools to learn about your activities and measure their success.
The Learning Pattern Library is a hub to share learning around certain challenges that are common across Wikimedia programs and projects. Featured Learning Patterns in this issue:
Social media is a widespread medium with millions of users. Dovetailing its large userbase to promote native language and promoting openly-published content like the Wikimedia content is a great way to grow reader base. Learn more.
How can I enable Wikidata for an infobox on my language's Wikipedia without writing all the Lua scripts from scratch? Learn more.