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I've been asked to introduce and moderate a session on Volunteer Management at the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012. Below are some notes and points for discussion.
Where do volunteers come from?
- the editing communities
- general public
How to engage volunteers effectively?
- match tasks to skills and preference
- train to create/improve needed skills, e.g. train volunteers in public speaking, by professionals
- build a portfolio: do (or at least plan) several different things, to create multiple ways of engagement for potential volunteers
- have frequent low-barrier low-key activities to integrate newcomers, e.g.:
- regular editing workshops
- photo hunts
- Wikisource proofreading
- tutored maintenance tasks (e.g. dead links, copy editing)
- appreciate your volunteers!
- and feed them :)
Threats to effective volunteer management
- strong disagreements
- personal conflicts
- power dynamics
- bad precedents
- vicious cycles