Learning patterns/Communities of Interest to Recruit Volunteers
What problem does this solve?
Many Wikimedians say "Writing a collaborative, free encyclopedia is a weird hobby" and may not be everyone's cup of tea. Finding people who can be passionate volunteers to movement can be considered alchemy.
What is the solution?
In this respect, looking out for people who are already grouped to pursue some hobby or interest seriously will help. Turning one of them to Wikimedian can result in more from the group becoming Wikimedians. To make one person from them a passionate volunteer need time and patience, but it works.
Things to consider
- Someone among them should become our Tribesmen: Every Cult group is different, say it a Film buff club, Traditional Literature Lovers or a City History Excavation group - they are different with their own interests. Making one among them a Wikimedian who likes and contributes for the project will be most helpful for the further quest if you are not one of them. Someone from inside can easily convince them that contributing to Wikipedia or Commons is the coolest activity.
- Passion and Commitment is contagious: One among these people may not understand or have preconceived notions against Wikipedia. But they can't have any reservations against a passionate and committed volunteer. Request Wikimedians who are passionate and contagiously committed to Project. Bring them for a session or ask them for interaction, just to see how they are excited towards this project helps them to open up with a positive mind. That helps us to explain them with facts and figures.
- No Hurry: Introducing them everything at once ruins their interest and lead them to feel alienated. Excite them every time, help them learn something and let them explore the magic world.
- Multiple points of collaboration: Wikimedia Projects ranging from Wikipedia to Wikidata to Commons to Wikiquote is a vast arena of Free knowledge platforms. There are incubating projects where a lot of valuable & crazy ideas coming true. Most of these Communities of Interest can find a platform for their interest and expertise in multiple projects. Introducing them to various projects help understanding whereall they can contribute and collaborate.
When to use
- Involving Communities of Interest: In part of a Pilot project to work with "Communities of Interest" (Group of Experts and Communities of Interest using digital platforms), Identified a group called "Padya Soundaryam", which is a WhatsApp group which celebrates, expounds and critically discuss Classical Telugu poetry which is successfully running without any deviation from focus for morethan 3 years. Because of my interest, been part of the group. When they conducted their first ever grand meet-up named - "Saraswatha Jyotsna" in Visakhapatnam - I participated as the member of group. Explained about Telugu Wikimedia projects, their founding principals, people contributing to movement, etc., during lunch and dinner time. Took 5 min time in end of the event and requested interested people to give the contact details to get information about upcoming Wikimedia Workshops. Few people gave their contact, 2 of them came to Telugu Wikisource Workshop and become active contributors to the Project. Currently trying to take the initiative to next step and get more interested volunteers to project with the help of initial volunteers.