Learning patterns/Coordinating with a WikiProject
What problem does this solve?
You are developing an outreach program, the purpose of which is to engage offline audiences in the improvement of Wikipedia. For example, you would like to get an art library interested in improving Wikipedia's coverage on art. But what should they focus on? What should the priority for this be?
What is the solution?
To figure this out, you can coordinate with a WikiProject. WikiProjects are subject-area (or task-oriented) collaborations on Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia. These WikiProjects gather enthusiasts on a given topic or task, many of whom have identified the current needs for coverage of that subject area. Coordinating with them on the development of your program can help engage their interest as volunteers, and it will help integrate your offline efforts with the online projects.
Things to consider
- Encourage involvement with the WikiProject at every opportunity. Not every participant in your outreach program will sign up as a regular participant in the WikiProject (you wouldn't want this either), but some will and the community will grow.
- You can ping WikiProject participants from anywhere (not just in the WikiProject's talk page). Bear this in mind if you need to notify participants of relevant activities outside of the WikiProject.
- Don't expect WikiProject participants to respond right away when you ping them. Some may take several weeks to see and respond to the alert. If you need quick responses, don't hesitate to tag specific users (or to reach out to them directly, outside of the Wikimedia project you are working on).
When to use
- While designing the Wikipedia Summer of Monuments program, Wikimedia District of Columbia reached out to WikiProject National Register of Historic Places to gather their input on how to design the project to meet the needs of Wikipedia. They offered feedback on how a potential program might be run. Wikimedia DC also relied on statistics generated by the project, which led to it being focused on the Southern United States.
- For the Modelling and Populating Performing Arts Data in Wikidata project, the WikiProject Performing arts serve as a central place for documenting recommended modelling strategies. This Wikiproject includes tables of recommended properties as well as typologies of occupations, positions and roles. The WikiProject was provided as reference tool to participants in a workshop series.