Learning patterns/Reach and engage your community
What problem does this solve?
During the Volunteer Supporters Network’s 2017 meeting in Berlin, many of the volunteer supporters present stated that the core community of volunteers engaged in chapter activities or organizing events stays rather constant.
What is the solution?
Of course there are editors who prefer to contribute to the Wikimedia projects online only and anonymously, but there are also those who can be turned from "online only" into "online and offline" volunteers. In order to reach those people and thus potentially increase the active core community, the following things might help:
- Contact interesting users "out of the blue", find them with the help of babel boxes.
- Have the existing community suggest new people – ask other Wikimedians to assist.
- Actively invite a Wikimedia affiliate’s members to activities.
- When it comes to active editors, it can be helpful to engage them online first, then offline.
- Encourage editors to form groups according to themes (topics, age groups, etc.) – and to then meet on a regular basis.
Invite editors to events and activities personally or ask other Wikimedians you know to do so. Leave individual messages on talk pages or use social media, be specific and personal – know what these people are doing and invite them to activities and events suiting their interests. Use direct communication rather than general messages. Use CentralNotice only to address huge groups for bigger events and activities.
During events, ask the participants whether they would be interested in organizing a similar event themselves sometime. Invite previous participants to new activities.