Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Lyon France
- 1 Date and location
- 2 Participants list
- 3 What happened
- 4 Discussion points
- 4.1 Capacity Building (1st thematic area)
- 4.2 Products and technologies (2nd thematic area)
- 4.3 Diversity (3rd thematic areas)
- 5 Also
Date and location
- Lyon, France
- 28th of July 2019
- 2:30pm to 6pm
Two participants were from Lyon, and two from Grenoble.
This short meeting was organzied by Diane Ranville, Strategy Liaison for the francophone community. The purpose was mainly to collect the specific needs of contributors from the Wiktionary, who are numerous in Lyon. The meeting started with an informal talk to allow participants to exchange information about recent events in the French Wikimedia movement and in their respective cities. Then we went on to tackle several thematic areas of the strategy, including through the wiktionarists' point of view: we mainly talked about Capacity Building, but also Products and Technology, and Diversity.
Capacity Building (1st thematic area)
- The WMF and the Chapters should support the creation of training programs for learning or improving skills to participate in the Wikimedia projects:
- The purpose of these training programs would be: create multiple entry points towards contribution ; help contributors progress and feel empowered ; acknowledge and encourage their progression.
- These programs should be directed both towards new comers (learn from zero) and towards people who already contribute (allow skill building)
- These programs could take various forms, like MOOCs, targeted tutorial videos about specific tools (could be included into the contribution interface to avoid having to look it up in too many confusing 'help' pages), mentoring programs, in person training, etc.
- The Foundation should support the creation of a video-live on Youtube and/or Twitch, where Wikimedians would take turns and show how they contribute.
- Example : Lyokoi does Youtube-lives where he shows how he contributes to the French Wiktionary (~100 people following each live session) : this allows contributors to share good practices and to demystify contribution, showing everyone it can be easy.
- The WMF should support a way to share information more widely and more efficiently so that knowledge about the movement and the projects doesn't remain in closed circles. For example :
- Better document (or better share existing documentation about) software development information
- Systematize and better distribute « wikipress » (any news about wiki) to allow sharing good practices, coordinate small initiatives, etc. (example : « Actualités du Wiktionnaire »).
- Well conceived technology can be a huge factor for empowering communities, so we should support better software development in order to facilitate the participation of everyone and make it more efficient.
Products and technologies (2nd thematic area)
« Current situation : « small projects » (for example the Wiktionary) are often left behind in software development. The current « wishlist » system systematically favors Wikipedia because it mecanically gets more votes. The sister projects find themselves lagging behind in terms of ergonomy and development. And yet, some simple developments can greatly improve the contributors' experience. Example : a very simple « translation assistant » module was added to the French Wiktionary, and it was so easy to use that it drastically increased the number of contributions and favored the entry of new people into the project.
- Make a separate wishlist for each Wikimedia project (so that Wikipedia doesn't crush everything else)
- Appoint developers dedicated to each project
- These developers could be in charge of tracking and sharing new tools and improvements throughout the various linguistic versions (currently, they each tend to create their own tools, modules and templates on their own, without sharing good practices and tips, when communication would be beneficial to everyone. Example : the translation assistant is only available in the French version)
- Produce better technical documentation about MediaWiki softwares (or, if it already exists, make it more accessible) to allow appropriation by other developers
Ergonomy and gamification
- The WMF should focus, among other things, on ergonomic improvements to make platforms more user-friendly
- The idea that « ergonomy is futile » (very present in the Wikimedia community) should be fought
- Better ergonomy allow more people to participate, in a more efficient manner, so it drastically improves the projects' content
- The Wikimedia projects should get inspiration from gamification (while being careful that it is designed so that it can do no harm to the projects) and develop more mobile apps: this would boost small contributions and banalize occasional contribution by non-expert users (#Diversity)
- For example, different types of small contributions could be gamified (classify databases, write captions for images, add bibliographical references to Wikidata...)
- Easy actions should be made easily accessible
Diversity (3rd thematic areas)
Partnerships (for diversity)
- The WMF and Chapters should have partnerships with cultural institutions representing minor cultures
- In these cultures where communities are small, we cannot expect a critical number of wikimedians, so Wikimedia projects should be presented to them as a general tool to promote, share and preserve their local culture (examples : Kanak people, French overseas territories...)
- These cultures often have little means at their disposal, so they would probably be happy to be offered ready-to-use tools allowing them to easily promote their culture and heritage.
Roles and responsibilities (for diversity)
- The development of emerging communities should be dealt with at the level of Chapters or linguistic associations (example : WikiFranca) because they are closer to local cultural issues
- International languages (French, English...) should not stifle local languages. Linguistic associations like WikiFranca should be used to support « languages in contact » (for example African languages like Menka, Wolof...)
- Communication tools used by the WMF and the Chapters (official channels, MOOCs, etc.) should be thought of as an opportunity to banalize non-hegemonic use of languages
- On the francophonic Wikipedia, French from France, which is very normative, tends to marginalize communities who speak and write another form of French (Africans, Quebecois...)
- Using various types of French (people with various accents, using various local variations...) in communications could banalize diversity
This meeting also served as a way to tighten the links between the local groups of Lyon and Grenoble. It has been agreed that contributors from Lyon will soon visit the Grenoble group in order to provide them with a training to Wiktionary and Lingua Libre.