Talk:Women on Wikipedia Month

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I'm setting up this page to discuss ideas started on the Gender Gap list for a "Women on Wikipedia Week" to encourage new editors. It needn't be a week; this is just to get us started with ideas. One proposal is to hold it around March 8, which is International Women's Day. Please see the talk page for some of the ideas proposed so far. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:23, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Having it held for a month in March would give people more flexibility to schedule events. So I like the idea of making it a month instead of a week. FloNight 21:31, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, especially as it's short notice. I'm not sure whether to discuss on this page, or the talk page, so I've started a list of ideas there. Feel free to move it if it's better off here. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:34, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did a page move to alter the Week to Month since I think it is better than trying to target it for a single week. FloNight 21:53, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good idea. Also just to let you know that I've posted about this page on EN on the pump, AN, Wikiproject Feminism and Wikiproject Women's history. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:57, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the idea of having it be a Month, because learning curves take time. In the US, March is Women's History Month, and I think a co-promotion between Wikimedia and some of the US sponsors of that event ("Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum") might work really well (if someone has the connections to organize that.) Tutorial projects and other efforts to encourage women's participation are welcome to point new editors at en:Wikipedia:WikiProject_Women's_History as a low-barriers-to-entry project to get involved in. Cliotropic 22:48, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think this is both a good idea and a not-so-good idea. I'm all for more women editors, but I don't know if this is a good way to do it—guys should be able to welcome, mentor, work with women, etc. as well, right? It might feel a little awkward for a new editor if they think they're getting offered mentorship, etc. because they're a women and men could feel excluded. Or not, but it just seems a little weird to me.

What we really need is something like the post-fundraising "join us" banners (I hate banners but I think they work, although maybe more Sue images than Jimbo ones?), with landing pages to get new users started. I'm not a woman but I'd be happy help in this part. These landing/intro pages especially need to dispel some myths about Wikipedia and make it more appealing to women—i.e., address the main underlying reason(s) why there are fewer female editors than male editors. It's not that hard to introduce someone to editing, but we need to retain editors as well, and outreach events aren't enough, so we have to start off addressing the reasons why we have fewer female editors than male ones.

don't you feel this may give an impression of: there's only one woman on wikipedia among editors? ;) banners are not always welcomed by wiki-readers but as there are short films on wiki account on youtube maybe another with only women from various places in the world answering same question: why i do edit wikipedia? (there's one simmilar but also with men) and at the end they can say a sentence (by their own idea) that would encourage to join. just an idea.. --Lantuszka 01:23, 13 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This obviously isn't going to be easy, and it's similar to the voting gender gap seen in the United States (as well as some other countries). In the U.S. women were given the vote in 1920 but women voted at lower rates than men for 60 years, finally surpassing them in the 1980 U.S. presidential election. That rate now continues to grow.[1] Although women are less interested in, and knowledgeable of, politics in general, their interest grows when female politicians are election candidates or become officeholders.[2]

I think the first idea posted above ("Persuade some well-known women to open accounts on or around March 8, International Women's Day. Statements from them and Sue to the media.") is a good idea; we can use their statements as banner landing pages and leverage social media, just as was done during the fundraiser. If the personal appeals idea worked well before, it ought to now (except that everyone's tired of banners, so we should probably explore other routes as well). Major news/media outlets are things from which I have always felt Wikipedia can benefit, as well.

do we want women to open accounts (to raise statistics) or do we want women to actually edit wikipedia? if the second, then maybe we shall have these famous women to not only open accounts but to do some editing - and not in the articles about themselves ;) --Lantuszka 01:23, 13 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 fetchcomms 22:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm willing to start trying to contact some well-known women to ask if they'd be willing, but I'm reluctant to go ahead for now until we have a bit more momentum. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:31, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I like the idea. Perhaps we could go a bit further than just banners to potential newbies? Howie's survey of editors who left pulled up a surprising number of "I haven't left!" and "I still hold the community to be awesome!" people. We could always try emailing them at the same time asking them to come out of the cold, as it were. User:Panyd and I will be holding a series of events in early March encouraging people to edit - I'll be sure to try and include whatever suggestions to even out the demographics people can think to weave in. Ironholds 00:08, 12 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's true that some women will feel, um, patronized, but the present situation is even less satisfactory, so offering outreach because they're women, especially during women's month, if no other reason comes to mind, is beneficial. If another reason comes to mind, and it's appropriate, consider that, too.
Being a woman, unless otherwise specified, is not a requirement to providing supportive work. Usually, men who are put off by that are not in favor of solving the problem anyway; I've spoken with piles of them. Pitch right in.
Banners work. We insiders can feel like we've seen them a lot and get tired of them, but most people don't use Wikipedia that much and they'll be exposed less often to them, so banners work for most people. The office would have the best data on whether they work, but the apparent fundraising success last December would suggest that banners probably contributed to the campaign's success.
Landing pages are a good idea. Perhaps each WikiProject could create one as a subpage of their WikiProject or of a portal page and, once it's stabilized, it could be offered to banner designers.
Well-known women should be asked to endorse editing by women. Asking well-known women to personally edit creates a problem: there are relatively few and they'll get ensnared in the problems of being a woman editing just as are other women, such as having to spend hours defending an article against deletion, tag-bombing, orders to edit from admins who don't know the subject, etc.
Perhaps we could ask teachers who are likely to have many girls/women as students interested in weakly-covered subject areas?
Emailing sounds good. If we can draft the message, perhaps the office or an admin can figure out how to select women (defined somehow) who registered long ago (say, at least six months or a year), have not been indefinitely blocked, and have given permission to send email. That leaves the problem of how to email to a massive number of recipients without Hotmail, Yahoo, et al. deciding we're spamming and routing our stuff into junk folders or refusing to deliver at all. Emailing could be done in minibatches; if there are 5,000 users, by emailing to one user every six minutes, the whole list can be emailed over the course of about three weeks, which is fine for our purpose.
Several messages should be drafted, for several segments of users:
  • those who have never edited
  • those who have done far less editing than average
  • those who have never created articles
  • those who have created far fewer articles than average
  • those who have been subject to AfD, blocks that were reversed, and similar actions
  • those who are almost certainly women, per username
  • those about whom gender identification per username is more ambiguous
  • those identified solely by female-oriented articles they've edited and whose gender is unknown
That means 5x3 messages, or fifteen altogether. That's less burdensome than it looks, because there'll be a lot of similarities when drafting.
A bot, if one can be written, can determine who gets which message at the time of sending, so that if someone has created their first article five minutes before being emailed, the bot won't send them an invitation to write their first article. Using a bot can also protect privacy; we don't need to know who's on which list, or on any list, and the email should say so, even if the email is solely from the foundation's executive director (and it shouldn't be, since it should be jointly from her and an appropriate WikiProject member or a famous woman).
Techniques of drafting are those applicable to mass emails generally, like for direct mail; among other pointers, tell Wikimedia's story even though it makes the email longer. Up to a point, longer messages work better, even though most people think the opposite.
Nick Levinson 04:32, 12 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Other possible criteria for message-drafting and emailing, determinable by a bot, if so designed:
  • An editor's likely interest area, based on past edits and a predominance of a given WikiProject within articles edited.
  • Quality or importance of articles edited.
  • Number of reference elements added per article on average, in later edits.
Another approach is to use WikiProject counts to find areas of interest among IP-identified editors who have edited at least twice from one IP (thus less likely from a shared terminal), and invite them to open accounts, pointing out that, with usernames, they do not have to reveal their real names.
Nick Levinson 16:19, 12 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have people decided to move forward with this? It's February 15, so if we're going to do something, we have to start organizing it. Or if it's being dicsussed elsewhere, please let me know. I'm very willing to help out, but worried about jumping the gun, and the mailing list discussion about it seems to have dried up. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can say that at the Foundation we're still interested in helping anyone organizing something. I'm going to try and rework this page ala the gender gap and tenwiki today to lay out the various ways we might let people participate. Be sure to jump in and help if you have ideas or think I did something dumb. :) Steven Walling at work 23:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it's too late now to go ahead with anything major for March 8, but perhaps we can think about it for another time. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:55, 26 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since the month has already passed almost, I was thinking we should just create a generalized ongoing events/projects page linked off of Gender gap. Sound good? Steven Walling at work 00:04, 15 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
pl:Wikipedia:Wikipedia też jest kobietą (1-31. 03. 2011 ;) By Lantuszka. Przykuta 22:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]