Learning patterns/Producing video oral histories about Wikimedia participants
What problem does this solve?
It is challenging to get anyone to produce basic documentation about the projects they do or why they do them. For insiders or anyone else who is experienced enough to do a project, the motivations for the project itself and the project's value seem self-explanatory. However, the Wikimedia community is vast with many newcomers and outsiders looking in at all aspects of it. There is a demand and interest in accessing basic introductory materials explaining even basic Wikimedia community values, like "Why do volunteer time to Wikimedia projects?" and "What do you hope to accomplish by spending your time this way?"
What is the solution?
Although it can be a struggle to convince anyone to write text explaining what they do and why they do it, people do love to have human to human conversations and to talk about themselves. Earlier in Wikipedia's history, getting access to videography equipment and setups was difficult to arrange. Because of technological advances in video equipment and software, it is becoming much easier for anyone to produce and publish video.
The way to get more basic documentation about Wikimedia projects from project organizers is to catch them at a public event, pull them aside into a quiet place with a camera ready, and have them talk on camera for a few minutes about what they are doing.
Things to consider
- Getting audio which sounds right is challenging
- 2 minute oral histories work well for sharing online and in social media
- Expect to edit videos to cut at the start and end. For simple videos, inform speakers that you are unable to make edits within a video, so they should expect to speak for the entirety of their time on camera.
When to use
- Have a videographer at any major event.
- If a chapter or any group with a close relationship meets regularly, then try to get key organizers to speak on camera at least once every 1-2 years
- Grants:Learning patterns/Frugal video production for Wikimedia Commons
- Grants:Learning patterns/Tools for communicating what Wikipedia is about
- Grants:Learning patterns/How to generate publicity and foster collaboration: Organizing an event series