Talk:WikiWomenCamp/Participation

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To the organizing team: could you clarify what attempts were made to announce this planned event beyond the circle of chapter activists and the gender gap mailing list, to the wider public? For example, were sitenotices used at all? The attendance so far does not seem to include many people outside chapter membership. Thanks. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:45, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Asaf,
I think that the fact that someone is active in a chapter does not detract from the other fact that most are also very active in their editing communities. I'm reviewing grants for the event, and most applicants have more than 20 000 edits globally (which is like 10 times your own edit count). Almost all are admins (also something we can't say about you). These women are active in both capacities, they are in a chapter AND edit wikipédia. It's not an either/or proposition.
I myself as a organizer edited the wikis almost 70 000 times (I will not compare with yours to not bring shame to you). If very offensive when you rule out women with lifes, jobs, high editcount (for what its matter), outreach projects and a chapter position as "non editors". We are in fact what all editors should look at for example and what WMF should be trying to create: High involved volunteers.
Siska did outreach in several international mailing lists, but there are also outreach in meta, projects like Spanish, Italian, French and German Wikipedias (In Kurier, Stipendien and Wien). There are also geonotices in English Wikipedia (for India now and several old ones) and a request for being in Signpost (never accepted). We also have post in facebook, twitter (those are just examples) and IRC. As a curious anecdote, I can say that I contacted several fellow female editors I know, most of them who happen to not belong to any chapter, and one of the main reasons they gave me for declining to attend this event had to do with childcare issues.
Hope that answer your question, Béria Lima msg 00:23, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Beria, your response is quite abusive, and I don't understand why. I see nothing in Asaf's question that suggests that people associated with chapters are "non editors" -- that would be quite a ridiculous thing for him to suggest. You put it in quotes, which would suggest that he literally used those words -- which is very far from the truth. Why are you yelling at him for things he clearly did not say? Why are you bringing up the idea of bringing "shame" to him? This is not language I like to see in our projects, I find it distressing to read. -Pete F (talk) 00:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I think Beria is responding to Asaf's private message to local-l and wikiwomen-l (where he mentioned the question above), in which he did talk about not advertising to "the editing communities". John Vandenberg (talk) 02:04, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Whatever Beria may be responding to, I don't believe it justifies invoking shame. Apart from the general ugliness of invoking shame, I am surprised by the implication that a low edit count (as if 2800 were low) is something shameful.
You can talk about what might justify a comment like that if you want, but (1) Asaf did not say what you suggest either (sorry, but accuracy is especially important when criticizing someone's words) and (2) I stand by my position that nothing could justify the kind of commentary Beria made above. -Pete F (talk) 04:12, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I also believe like John that she is responding to the private message that pointed to this thread in which Asaf did ask why women active in chapters rather than editing communities (?) are involved in this event, and also asked about outreach to the editing communities. That is why the response may seem disjointed to someone who didn't see that email, she's answering to those questions/comments too. Raystorm (talk) 08:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Let's look at the text of Asaf's email:
Could one of the organizers take a moment to respond to this question[1]?
The list of participants so far seems to me to suggest this is a gathering of 
women active in chapters, rather than in the editing communities.  Hence my 
question about outreach to the broader community.
Thanks,
  Asaf
Let's consider an analogous statement:
The list of participants so far seems to me to suggest this is a gathering of Senators, 
rather than citizens.
An interpretation of that sentence concluding that Senators are not citizens would be absurd, and the interpretation here that Asaf (a former chapter member, an active editor, and a person we all know is aware of the editing activities of many of the participants in this event) is implying that chapter members don't edit is equally absurd. It is difficult to see it as anything but a willful misinterpretation designed to discredit, rather than a good faith effort to communicate. And, again, to use the interpretation to justify statements about shaming is damaging to the collaborative spirit that holds our projects together. -Pete F (talk) 01:35, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Pete, I agreed and thought you had a point in your first post. But now you might be getting in the same territory. I agree the tone was needlessly harsh considering the question; maybe Beria misunderstood, and took it to be about her and other organizer/attendee's credential. I don't think she was invoking shame, she might have felt threatened - the question came simultaneously on a mailing list and Meta from the grant officer. It is not unreasonable to think that volunteers hold their own standing and history closely, they can get defensive when they feel threatened about their own work being questioned by people in a position of authority (This did come from Asaf's staff account as the grant officer in 2 locations).
Beria answered Asaf's question in the second paragraph as she should have, that should have been her entire reply. The first paragraph was unreasonable and I will not defend it; you had a point to criticize it and I agree with you. But now, not letting it go, and arguing with others whether it was or not, you are doing the same thing, and trying to invoke shame. You can not push her into apologizing, and I do hope she realized her tone was harsh and uncalled for. If it is worth anything, I would like to say that Asaf is a great community member and a dear friend, nothing anyone says will affect his standing, he's been nothing but a complete professional even when things get heated. Now, unless there is anything new to discuss, I would ask that the discussion here, get back to the substantive part of what brought us here.
Getting back to the question, I fail to see how the organizers can be held responsible for who chooses to attend. I believe Beria and other organizers gave a list of locations they reached out to and advertised the conference. They can not be held responsible for lower turn out or skewed demographics; it happens with Wikimedia events all the times. GLAMcamps, edit-a-thon, all have skewed demographics, the organizers rarely choose who gets to attend. Yes, I have seen this event announced in several mailing lists I am on, yes, I have seen it on sitenotices, and other places. May be there is some doubts about the selection criteria employed? if so, then let's be specific about it, and ask directly. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 02:32, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Pete, regardless of this discussion, I do want to point out that Meta has a policy against posting emails, logs and content of private mailing lists directly. You can paraphrase it or refer to it, but posting it verbatim might not be the best practice. I'm not speaking about this case particularly, just a general note for future reference. Thanks. Theo10011 (talk) 02:32, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Theo, thanks -- you're right, there's no need to carry this any further. For the record, I agree that Beria's second paragraph was a good and useful answer, and that substance is where this discussion should properly be focused -- hence my post in the section below. And no, I am not suggesting the organizers should be held criticized for the number or distribution of participants; I am confident the event will have value, and I appreciate the organizers' efforts to make it happen. As for posting the email, please let me assure you I thought carefully before posting it, and am pretty confident Asaf, the author, will not object. Of course, if I am mistaken I hope he will tell me, and I will certainly do whatever I can to rectify that.
Again, thanks for your message. I have nothing further to say on this distraction, and will refocus on the substantive part of this discussion. -Pete F (talk) 03:30, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Event participants[edit]

I've been wondering what the focus of this camp is too. Because most of the signups are from women active in chapters, it has been hard for me to tell if that was because the kinds of sessions and topics planned for discussion are centered around chapters (in which case maybe this camp isn't the place for me, since I'm not in a chapter), because of how the event has been advertised, or just happenstance of who is able to attend this time. Understanding more about how organizers are doing things is helpful for all of us who are also planning events, so I was looking forward to the answer here, I have to say! I don't think Asaf meant any disrespect by distinguishing between people involved in chapters and editors in general - of course there is overlap between the 2 groups, but we also know that there are hundreds of thousands of editors who aren't involved in chapters (most of whom aren't on mailing lists and sometimes don't hear about events like this), and I think we're just generally curious to know how organizers are thinking about and publicizing the event. I find the information that Beria is sharing here to be really useful! But I saw the private message from Asaf too, and its not the "disjointedness" that surprises me in this response. I just don't think that getting personal with Asaf on his edit count in the process of answering either question is ok, its perfectly fine to say "chapter women are editors too, so I disagree with the distinction you're making, just look at our edit count" without bringing in a question of shame for anyone else.Siko Bouterse (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

On another note, (I'm trying to get over the feeling that my colleague Asaf was unfairly treated here and focus on the content, which has honestly taken me a little while) the childcare issue is a recurring theme in planning events for women, so glad you brought it up, Beria! At the SF WikiWomen's edit-a-thon, we tried to create a kid-friendly space (it was pretty successful, moms with older kids got some editing done!), and have considered offering on-site childcare at future events to see if this brings in more women...I'll be curious if this topic comes up for discussion at the camp and if others have ideas for how to create more mama-friendly events too! Siko Bouterse (WMF) (talk) 17:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I came to this discussion as a fellow organizer of outreach and community events, interested in the various techniques used for attracting interested participants. I was recently a planner of GLAMcamp DC, a different type of event, but one that also required outreach and recruitment. As we discussed in our report on the event, while we were very pleased with the pool of participants who ultimately came, there was a strong element of luck involved: the number of applicants almost precisely matched our target, and every serious applicant had very desirable strengths to offer. So, in furtherance of both our desire as a movement to continually reach out to new participants, and of the desire to make good use of movement resources in funding events, I think it is essential that we have an open and generative dialogue about what efforts are effective and what efforts are less effective, so we can continually learn from one another's experience. Next time I am in a similar position, I would like to not rely on luck; I would like to have some techniques that give me confidence that we will reach the desired audience in outreach efforts.
I share the concern expressed by Asaf and Siko about the profile of participants in this event. I certainly don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with the participants involved, those I know are all tremendously productive and valuable participants in our movement. But let's look at language from the event introduction:

At WikiWomenCamp, all women involved with the wiki community are welcome! You do not need be an expert at editing wikis, in running chapters or work for a wiki related organization. Collaboration thrives on diversity. All you need to bring is an open mind, and a willingness to participate, whether by teaching, taking an active role in discussions, helping people to connect to those who can assist them, or sharing your own stories. And, don't forget, WikiWomenCamp is what we make it, so let's make it enlightening, productive and fun.

The event will be open to all women involved with the Wikimedia movement, and involved with wikis in general including commercial, non-profit and educational wikis.

I had understood this (months ago) to imply that the desire was to recruit a diverse group, which I would consider to mean including people who are not yet part of a thriving communication network of chapter activities and event participation. When looking at the list of participants, it seems to me they are people who already have ample opportunities to communicate and work together. While I am certain that the organizers have acted in good faith and with the best intentions throughout, it does seem that the goal of attracting new faces has not really been met, and it seems worthwhile to have a frank and non-critical discussion about how things might be done differently in the future to broaden and improve outreach efforts. -Pete F (talk) 02:01, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Outreach effort[edit]

Hi Asaf or whoever wondering about outreach effort. Apology for just seeing the question today, I would like to pointed out that outreach effort already been done manually to 76 different language wikipedia reaching out to women editors by Kartika, I think this is important effort.

Out of 76 language wikipedia that we approaches via their village pump, we have responses from six language Wikipedia, you can see in the link given previously the feedback. We also realizes that women editors are very rare. I think this fact alone proves that if you really focus and aim for women editors, more effort needed to do face to face outreach like wikiwomen camp. This is the first try out and we can't guarantee success, however at the same time, we don't need your approval to make this happened. Siska.Doviana (talk) 09:43, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification about outreach. I'm glad you did reach out to editing communities.
I agree face-to-face events are most effective in outreach (to women and to men).
On a meta note: I'm not sure why you felt you need to point out you don't need my approval to hold an event. No one was saying you do.
The reason I am taking an interest, though, is that I have asked some months ago whether the organizers will be seeking a WMF grant to fund (some of) this event, and received a positive response. And indeed, there is a draft grant proposal already. Since you have not yet submitted the request, and the conference is less than two months away, I am trying to prepare and avoid last minute frustration by asking questions in advance. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 04:12, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Just curious about participation of English language Wikipedia. I noticed there weren't any links to the VP discussions for English. Thanks Siska! SarahStierch (talk) 17:09, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

WikiWomenCamp Buenos Aires 2012