Outreach review is an evaluation of Wikimedia outreach projects by the Wikimedia community. It happens when someone posts a description of their proposed outreach project with the intent of soliciting comments on their proposal from the Wikimedia community. The intent could be summarized in this way -
Anyone thinking of doing a Wikimedia outreach project targeting an entity such as a school, organization, or social group should consider getting review of their project from the Wikimedia community.
The reason why outreach projects need special review is because people doing outreach make themselves highly visible and get recognized by the public as representatives of the Wikimedia community. The Wikipedia Community prefers not to have named or designated representatives, and no one can speak on behalf of the community. For this reason, the more likely someone is to be perceived as representative of the Wikimedia community, the more comfortable the Wikimedia community becomes when that person is transparent about their activities. This page gives a summary of when and how to do this, provides links to current projects seeking reviews, and links to more detailed guides.
All Wikimedia projects are community projects. Whenever anyone develops Wikimedia projects they are developing community space and are acting as members of the Wikimedia community. If anyone partners with an external organization outside the Wikimedia community to develop and improve Wikimedia project content, then that person is doing public relations on behalf of the Wikimedia community.
This is great! Be bold and do this!
However, as projects get more complicated and as the external organization more strongly wants the approval of the Wikimedia community, it is good to seek community approval for projects by seeking outreach review. Projects with external organizations often have great potential to influence public perception of Wikimedia projects and every member of the Wikimedia community is a stakeholder in the public perception of Wikimedia projects. It is good to get community review for outreach projects, especially for the purpose of preventing any harm which might come to any one for any reason because of the project. Projects which acknowledge community review are less likely to have major problems. Wikimedia community members who make themselves and their projects transparent to community review are held in higher esteem.
How to get review
Anyone who wants outreach review should follow these steps:
- Consider reading the guide to outreach review
- Write a description of the project on any Wikimedia project, for example on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, or whatever else seems appropriate.
- Identify project organizers, including members of the Wikimedia community and external organizations
- Try to name problems the project could reasonably cause for the Wikimedia community.
- Post a link to the project description here on this page in the section below. This page is a directory of projects to review!
- Advertise to the general Wikimedia community and especially to groups which might be knowledgeable about the impact of the project that the proposal exists and that you want feedback.
- Try to get anyone and everyone to tell you their concerns for how your project could harm the Wikimedia community! Identify potential problems before the project and continually throughout the project, and always share the problems with the community!