Social media plays an important role in connecting with individuals and organisations. Most of the Wikipedia communities and chapters have their own social media accounts and group to connect with individuals, and also to spread awareness about the Wikimedia movement.Odia Wikimedians have stepped ahead in using this platform for the retention and training for existing community members. With over 3000 followers in its twitter account, 1000 likes on Facebook Page, 10,000 members on Facebook group, Odia Wikipedia also has one messenger group, and four Whatsapp groups for connecting with Wikipedians.
What problem does this solve?
Following up with the contributors off-wiki is very difficult, It requires one common platform to connect with the contributors. Even sometime following up with individuals after any activity is very difficult.
What is the solution?
There are different social media channels to get in contact with individuals. Wikimedia project leaders can use these platforms to engage the community in different activities. Social media channels can be used for connecting one individual with existing community through Whatsapp, facebook group and messenger, train new wikimedians with the help of hangout, and share the work of Wikimedians through tweets or Facebook groups.
Things to consider
- Privacy of a user is very important, please take the concern of the user before adding them into any channel.
- Collecting numbers, and emails of individuals before or after an event, and taking their concern for adding into any channel for pre or post training.
- After posting on Wikipedia village pump, sharing and notifying the individuals in that community group.
- Most of the time people get shy to ask a question or to clear their doubt, this platform help in clearing doubts for everyone.
When to use
Using the social media has been a good practice for Odia Wikimedians, I advice to use it for other Wikimedia projects. You can also use it for:
- After any workshop or any outreach event to follow up with the participants.
- For sharing and creating awareness about the movement.
- For praising the work of inviduals.
- Using 'Share a fact' to engage social media followers of small Wikipedias, Share a fact can also help in spreading the contribution of an individual through various social media channels.