Learning patterns/Third place for local groups
What problem does this solve?
Local groups need a clearly identifiable meeting place to organize actions. Getting a room for free tanks to an institution requires substantial logistical investment by members and can be time consuming. The easy solution usually turns out to be to gather in friendly places such as bars or restaurants. Nevertheless, this poses several problems: requirement to consumption, a layout which is not appropriate, background noise, lack of technical facilities (internet, computers ...), ect. In addition, a local group regularly changing meeting point is more difficult to be identified by the public. Ultimately, these regular logistical issues may discourage members if they spend more time getting a room than develop their project. It is not easy to meet contributors for a non used person. In short, not having a regular place to meet neither help members in local groups to maintain a work dynamic and nor attract new members.
What is the solution?
Third place designate innovative and shared spaces, flexibly usable and gatherings of material resources and services. The third place is located between the home and the workplace. This is a friendly place where people come with a purpose: to work in a cooperative environment. These places have the advantage of being flexible and therefore able to welcome all kinds of activities. This type of space thus meets all the criteria expected for a local group: a need of place to meet identified by the public, open to all, including an internet connection. It is possible to meet there in small groups, to organize workshops or trainings and to store the equipment of the local group. For example, the Lille local group has chosen a third location to implement and cooperate, develop and contribute. The community of French Third Party Sites places is very active and has created a concept open to communities who expect working and training areas
The conduct of the proceedings
- Contact the local group leader to expose the project (willingness to meet and work on action plans, to organize Wikipermanences or training courses).
- Settlement of a concessus on installation conditions of the place. Many of these places are self-managed on a contributory model. It is therefore appropriate to financialy contribute in the limit of their possibilities. For France, a budget between 50 euros and 100 euros per month on average would be appropriate.
- Announce to contributors the beginning of regular meetings in a fixed location.
- Write an agenda that will inform the thematics and actions in the coming months. Then distribute this agenda in cultural venues and send it to the contributors.
- Communicate with partners and invite them to come and be formed, to discover Wikimedia's projects or participate in the preparation of actions.
Things to consider
Places being contributive and collective, it is necessary to discuss with the community the implementation of actions to avoid conflict.
When to use
A person can invest in a third place location and propose meetings by inviting local contributors but also the target publics for training courses, sensitizations or pictures outings... in order to launch a local dynamic. A group of contributors can be found in these places and work on the implementation of their actions. A local group already established will find a place to meet and work on actions.
- The vast majority of respondent questioned don't wish to contribute at home because of home insulation factor. They'd rather wor with siblings and then take advantage of the positive energy and motivation of other contributors.
- The work in the Third Party Site allows chapters to reduce their real estate commitments, to use flexible equipment on demand while maintaining a strong professional image.
- Wiki Learning's biggest advantage is have this kind of home base as it gives something tangible to the organization, as well as administrative and physical resources, such as video labs. The problem is that sometimes its bureaucratic requirements dont mesh well with WMF requirements. see Grants:PEG/Leigh Thelmadatter/Establishing finances of Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey/Report