Learning patterns/Organizing "Wiki Loves" campaigns
This learning pattern will not only useful be useful for "Wiki Loves" projects, but also for other online campaigns in general.
What problem does this solve?
Often people come up with new "Wiki Loves" campaigns with an intention to improve the converge of images or content of a particular region or topic. In such cases, the organisers are concerned with the outcomes, whether the project might go as expected or not, how it is to be planned etc. Also if it is a new "Wiki Loves" campaign that is being introduced for the first time, things will get more complicated. This learning pattern helps the organisers to understand the scope and potential of "Wiki Loves" campaigns (especially if it is the first iteration), and also helps in planning and executing the project. This'll also be helpful for the new organisers of established campaigns such as WLM, WLE etc.
Note 1: If you're organizing a campaign that has been already done in your community, and was successful, you can skip the first three sections.
Note 2: If you're organizing a campaign that has been already done in some other community, but a new one to yours', it is very important to note that even if the campaign was very successful one, it necessarily need not be a successful one in your community. So even in such cases, it is advisable to go through all the steps.
Shaping the idea
- First step of shaping the idea includes exploring the possibilities for a new "Wiki Loves" campaign.
- "Wiki Loves" campaign are primarily intended to improve the coverage of images or content related to a particular aspect (region or theme).
- If you're initiating a new campaign, you need to make sure that it was not initiated by anyone in the past (in your community). However, you may bring a "Wiki Loves" initiative that was conducted in some other country or community, to your community. In this case, you can get more insights from the original organisers.
- As far as the theme is concerned make it as broad as possible, but not too broad that you take up the entire world. For example, "Wiki Loves Monuments" is good enough, however, "Wiki Loves 18th Century Monuments" is too confined, and at the same time, "Wiki Loves Buildings" is too broad.
- The theme should be attractive enough to attract more participation.
- Once you've got the basic idea, it is advisable to contact the previous "Wiki Loves" organisers and take inputs from them.
- Share your idea with other volunteers and form an organising team with at least three members.
Step 0: Run a pilot
- Once you've finalized the theme of the campaign, it is strongly recommended to run a pilot campaign before going ahead with the main one.
- Doing so will let you understand the community's interest in the project, and also identify the potential pitfalls involved.
- This step is very much important to avoid ending up as a failure.
- Before you go a for a pilot. Here are a few things to consider:
- If your focus is on content, set-up a page on Meta-Wiki, or on the local Wikipedia or any other Wikimedia project as required. To avoid confusion, create the page on any one site only.
- If your focus is on images, it is advisable to set-up the page on Wikimedia Commons.
- Fix a duration for the pilot project. The most feasible options are 2 weeks or 3 weeks.
- For photographic campaigns, create a category, in case of content related campaigns create a tracking page (example) which can be updated by the participants.
- Inform the community through mailing lists, mass message notification etc. (Central notice may not be approved for a pilot campaign, but you can always give it a try)
- Run the pilot campaign
Learning from the results
- As the primary intention of a pilot campaign is to identify the potential pitfalls. We need to learn from the results.
- Understanding the potential of the campaign and interest of the community in it:
- This can observed from the results. You can consider that the main campaign would be a successful one if the pilot attains 30–40% of the targets set for the main one.
- While analysing the results, you'll need consider to several factors such as the period in which the pilot and actual one are scheduled. For example, if the pilot is run during a vacation period, but not the actual one, then the participation curve may go down than expected, and vice-versa is also observed.
- In case, if the pilot is not successful, there are two options; stop the project if the results are too bad, however, you can always revisit the idea, reconsider the scope and other aspects. The second option is if the results aren't too bad, but acceptable, then you'll need to identify the pitfalls and make sure that they are not repeated in the main campaign.
- You also need to consider the fact that for the main campaign you can have the central Notice up. It is arguably the most effective way to reach out to Wikimedia readers and contributors.
- At this step, you can also learn from the results and reports of other "Wiki Loves" initiatives.
- An optional step that you could do is, create a page explaining how the pilot campaign went, and ask for community to comment on it. In this way, you can keep the volunteers engaged, and in touch with the organisers.
Gathering the core-team, jury etc.
- Once you're ready to go, the first thing you need to do is forming the core organizing team, jury, a panel of advisers etc.
- Make sure that the core organizing team is not over-numbered (Too many cooks spoil the broth). 3–5 can make up a good team.
- It is not necessary that the core-organizing team has to do everything. You can form various other teams such as promotions team, technical team etc. depending upon the size of the project.
- Regarding the jury, it'd be awesome if could finalize that in the beginning itself. Else, you need to do that by the time half of the campaign is complete. For photo-campaigns, blend the jury with top Commons contributors from your community, and persons closely related to project's scope. For content based campaigns, you can some have experienced editors from respective to help you topic areas to help you with the assessment.
- Having a set of few advisers can be done at your discretion. But if you have some experienced fellows in the loop, they might guide you in case if something goes wrong. It is better to have previous "Wiki Loves" organisers as advisers.
- Also have a set of volunteer coordinators to help you. It'll help in case the work gets too heavy.
Setting up things
- After the respective teams/groups are formed, now the core organising team will have to set-up the basic pages.
- Examples include:
- Main page (example)
- Sign-up page for participants (example)
- Pages explaining the scope and purpose of the project (example)
- Rules page (example)
- Results page for photo-contests (example)
- Progress tracking page for content improvement campaigns (example)
- A tool developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, the User talk:Ле Лой. . You can request to setup at
- FAQ page (example)
- Apart from the pages, you'll need to create a logo to represent your project, and if you want develop some templates to make your pages look more attractive.
- You can always copy the template codes from already designed ones, which have been used for other projects, but with attribution.
- You can create the logo by yourself, else if you're not good at that, ask your community or consider requesting at any of the following pages:
CIS-A2K Technical Requests, Wikimedia Commons Graphics Lab
- For photographic campaigns, create a category to track the uploads. Photos can be looped into the category in two ways:
- Create a campaign template, and ask the participants to tag their images with that template. It must be coded to automatically categorize the images to respective category. (example)
- Instead, you can configure the Commons upload wizard to perform required actions on the uploads. This is the most preferable option. To configure the wizard, you need to have "Upload Wizard campaign editor" right on Commons, and it can be requested here. If you're not sure of the code and configuration, you can request any editor from this this list to help you.
Things to consider
- After the pages and everything are done, there are a few other things that you need to take care.
- Timeline: Start & end dates, date for announcing the prizes, dates of photowalk(s) etc.
- Make sure that campaign dates don't clash with any other similar campaigns. Such clashes may hinder the outcome of both the campaigns.
- Decide what kind of prizes you'll be giving out to the top contributors.
- Monetary: This includes all the prizes that are related to money in someway or the other. Examples include gift vouchers, equipment prizes, book prizes, trips, t-shirts etc.
- Non-monetary: These include barnstars, specially designed on-Wiki awards etc.
- In case you wish engage new users or new editors who are not Wikimedians, through this campaign, it is advisable to go for monetary prizes. It attracts them, but make sure that prizes are not their sole motivation to contribute. As volunteerism is the base for the Wikimedia projects, prizes or monetary should never become the motivation.
- If you decide to give non-monetary prizes, you may skip the next point.
- If you decide to give monetary prizes, read the following:
- How are you going to get the money to purchase prizes?
- The most feasible option is to apply for a suitable grant from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). In this way, you can have some insights from WMF, and as well as support during the project.
- You can also reach out to external sponsors. Sponsorship is likely to be given by organizations closely related to the campaign's theme.
- Once everything is finalized and you've got all the required resources (including funds as required), approach a central notice admin request for a banner to be set-up for your campaign.
- It'd be good to have a clear "Conflict of Interest" policy to avoid complications at later stages.
- Reach out to GLAM institutions and other organizations related to campaign's scope.
During the campaign period
- Once the project starts, make sure the central notice banner is live for atleast two weeks at the beginning, and for one week at the end. This must be requested on a prior note to the central notice admin.
- As the project progresses, it is advisable to do the tedious organizers' part on regular basis. Doing so will avoid work load at the end. Example tasks include:
- For photographic contests; deleting or nominating images for deletion that are out of commons scope. De-tagging or removing the campaign category from the file pages that are irrelevant to the project's scope.
- For content related campaigns; checking the entries by participants, and if necessary, adding scores.
- Keep the community informed and constantly engaged. Send out mailing list messages regularly by posting some good images from that week, updating them about the days left to participate etc.
- Depending upon the funds available, conduct one or two outreach activities.
- Photo-walks can be organized for photographic campaigns.
- Edit-a-thons can be organized for content improvement campaigns.
- If the results don't turn up as expected;
- As organizers you always have an option to consider the extension of end date. But don't extend it for too long.
- Don't worry, many campaigns get a flood during the last few days.
- Even if that doesn't work, remember, "Failures are the stepping stones to success, Cheer Up!"
- Make sure that the participants add appropriate categories to image, or atleast titles and descriptions. If that is not the case, the probability of people finding these images would be extremely low, would be a waste of entire effort.
- One of the most-important tasks that is to be taken care after the campaign ends is judgement and results.
- For photographic campaigns, there are various tools that you can use for judgement. But access to these tools must be requested on beforehand. You can have a look at the tools available here.
- For content improvement campaigns, as you already have a tracking page with scores for each entry by a participant, just sum them, and do simple math to decide the winner.
- Before actually declaring results to the community, check for any conflict of interest. If there is any such case, please do the needful to avoid issues at a later stage.
- Declare the results, and give out the prizes to winners.
- Perform any clean-up work, such as removing unnecessary maintenance categories, templates, sub-pages etc.
- If you wish, you may conduct an edit-a-thon to categorize, add images to articles etc.
- Note:The main campaign pages are to be kept for historical reference.
- If you've taken any grant from WMF, complete the reporting part along with documentation of expenses with original receipts, bills, invoices etc.
- Consider writing a blog post about the campaign, so that the international community can learn from your experiences.
- Finally, thank all those who've helped you in organizing the project, and if possible write thank you letters, customized post cards etc.
- Interesting and very-well written. Tito Dutta (talk) 08:57, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
- hop li VANG 03:17, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
- Thanks to this, we were able to plan Wiki Loves Love international photo contest. Regards --Wikilover90 (talk) 09:15, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
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