Volunteer Supporters Network/Wikipedia Ambassador concept
The title Wikipedia Ambassador is an incentive for Wikipedians who maintain external contacts. This concept was developed by members of the Volunteer Supporters Network in 2022.
- It contributes to the Wikimedia 2030 strategy implementation regarding Cluster F: Increased awareness about the Wikimedia Movement (suggested "ambassadors program").
- Official status for experienced, competent Wikipedians who are respected in the community when they wish to indicate their connection to Wikipedia in outside contacts serving the online encyclopedia,
- clarity and verifiability for institutions that someone is indeed "from Wikipedia", and
- in combination, more fruitful external contacts in the spirit of Wikipedia’s "self-governance".
A Wikipedian wants to give a speech about Wikipedia at an educational institution, wants to talk with a museum about photo sharing for Wikipedia on Wikimedia Commons or wants to organize a guided tour for Wikipedians at a government agency? In order to give such projects an "official" character, they can get recognized as a Wikipedia Ambassador.
The title of Wikipedia Ambassador is awarded by Wikimedia affiliates in their countries or regions..
In some countries and language versions, the title Wikipedia Ambassador has long been awarded by local Wikimedia affiliates. The degree of commitment to the Wikimedia affiliates varies. There are also often restrictions regarding the type of external contacts, for example educational or cultural institutions. This is not the case with this concept, and a close connection to the Wikimedia affiliate does not play a role either. Instead, the Wikipedia experience they bring with them and their standing in the Wikipedia community count all the more.
Who can be a Wikipedia Ambassador should not be a case-by-case decision, but should practically result by itself from a set of hard criteria. These criteria must be met when requesting the status of Wikipedia Ambassador.
Wikipedia Ambassadors have extensive multi-year experience with their user account on Wikipedia and are currently active there. Contributions to Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata, the most important sister projects for Wikipedia practice, are also important.
- The user account has existed for at least two years.
- The user has uploaded at least 10 undeleted media files to Wikimedia Commons.
- The user has at least 50 undeleted edits in the main namespace of Wikidata.
In addition, there should be other criteria relevant for measuring experience in the respective Wikipedia language version. Here are examples from the German-language Wikipedia:
- The user is an (active) "Sichter" (internal MediaWiki group name: "editor") in the German-language Wikipedia. If this right was assigned manually and not automatically, the requirements apply for automatic assignment.
- The user has the right to vote in ArbCom elections (“Schiedsgerichtswahl”) in the German-language Wikipedia (check: https://stimmberechtigung.toolforge.org/).
Wikipedia Ambassadors regard the free online encyclopedia as a consensus-oriented community project. They are networked with other members of the Wikipedia community who, like them, also convey their affiliation to the project during encounters in real life.
- The user has participated in at least three publicly announced Wikipedia in-person meetings (evident from the public list of participants).
- The user has a total of more than 100 contributions to discussion pages in the home Wikipedia. These include the following namespaces: Talk, User talk, Wikipedia talk, Category talk, Portal talk, Help talk, and Template talk (check: https://xtools.wmflabs.org/ec-namespacetotals)
- The user’s account has not been banned from any Wikimedia project for more than a total of 6 hours in the last two years unless a longer ban was subsequently conclusively determined to be inappropriate in a ban review or ArbCom proceeding.
- The person behind the user account is not under a Wikimedia Foundation Event Ban.
Depending on the Wikipedia language version, there can be additional useful criteria. Here is an example from German-language Wikipedia:
- The user has at least ten assigned acknowledgements and at least ten received acknowledgements on Wikipedia:Personal acquaintances.
Wikipedia Ambassadors have experience organizing a successful project for Wikipedia that significantly involved outside contacts.
- The user has successfully completed, in a managerial capacity, at least one Wikipedia-related project in which a non-Wikimedia organization was directly involved.
- The project does not necessarily have to have been linked to content creation (example: Wikipedia lecture at a school) and may also have been carried out online only (example: Wikipedia competition with partner organizations as prize donors).
Request, duration and geographical scope
Wikipedians can use a form to request the Wikipedia Ambassador status from the Wikimedia affiliate in their country or region. This is possible at any time. They must be residents of the Wikimedia affiliate’s country or region to do so. Any additional support guidelines and privacy policies may apply. The Wikipedians’ personal data will be treated confidentially.
- Two years from the date of issue.
- An extension to another two years is possible informally by email. The same criteria should apply as for an initial issue, although justified exceptions are possible.
The scope of application extends to the territory of the Wikimedia affiliate. In addition, the Wikimedia affiliate can also agree with selected other Wikimedia affiliates that the Wikipedia Ambassador may in principle also act as such in other countries or regions. In this case, there is a procedure in place on how to proceed.
Rights and duties
Wikipedia Ambassadors receive:
- an entry on the list of Wikipedia Ambassadors published by the Wikimedia affiliate (with real and/or username and ID number),
- a personalized photo ID in credit card format, with a portrait photo and ID number,
- personalized Wikipedia Ambassador business cards,
- the right to use the name "Wikipedia" and the Wikipedia logo in external contacts, as long as it does not involve the conclusion of contracts, etc. (see also Trademark policy),
- if provided by the Wikimedia affiliate: a Wikipedia email address,
- if provided by the Wikimedia affiliate: the opportunity to participate in relevant training courses,
- if provided by the Wikimedia affiliate: the use of Wikipedia information material (folders, flyers, etc.).
Wikipedia Ambassadors may only ever act as such if it directly serves Wikipedia and Free Knowledge, and not just for personal gain. They should also not harm other users, Wikipedia, other Wikimedia projects, and Wikimedia organizations by being derogatory or behaving badly in their ambassadorial role. They do not have to report regularly to the Wikimedia affiliate about their activities but should be available for questions.
In case of serious violations, the title can be revoked prematurely by the Wikimedia affiliate. Conversely, Wikipedia Ambassadors can also withdraw from their titles at any time.