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WALRUS/March 2016

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Google Hangouts meeting on Thursday March 24 at 9pm Eastern Time / 6pm Pacific Time.

Agenda and minutes


Wikimedians Active in Local Regions of the United States [citation needed]

Participants and their regions

  • Addis, Ohio State University
  • Bluerasberry (Lane), New York
  • Frank, North Carolina
  • Ganesh Krisnamurty
  • Kirill Lokshin (Kirill), DC
  • Peaceray (Peaceray), Cascadia
  • Pharos (Richard), New York
  • Pine (Pine). Cascadia
  • Rachel, Minnesota
  • SuperHamster (Kevin), Ohio State University

Discussion Richard from WM NYC is interested in outreach events at schools.

Kevin edits English Wikipedia and has for 8 years. Founded a Wikipedia club called Wikipedia Connection at Ohio State University (WP:OSU). Hosted an Art + Feminism Editathon.

Report - 15 students and 2 faculty edited 28 articles and created 6 over 3 hours. Great start for first event!

Rachel in St. Cloud Minnesota. Participated in A+F event at Minneapolis Central Library, third one in region. Rachel has been facilitating editathons on the St Cloud State University campus since 2014. She is currently editing topics on LGBT issues. Planning LGBT+ Pride event at same library. That event is being supported by the library's own "pride committee". Organizing events at St. Cloud said to be difficult due to initial lack of traction. There is exploration about how this can be made more relevant. ??? Rachel reports that older faculty on campus is taking the lead in advancing change in the digital humanities, and for whatever reason, younger faculty is more conservative. Kevin responds: students are often initially resistent but come to like Wikipedia after a first try.

Addis works with Wikimedia User Group China. He is in Columbus at Ohio State University in the Wikipedia Connection club with Kevin.

Pine said Wikipedia outreach attempted at University of Washington in Seattle. Low turnout reported. Major barrier identified as critical mass of student participation on campus. Pine cited Wiki Edu research which said that student Wikipedia clubs are difficult to establish. Successful student orgs need a student Wikipedian to help lead, and clubs often start with a Wikipedian + his/her friends. Kevin mentioned how that's how Wikipedia Connection @ OSU started (Kevin created the club with non-Wikipedian friends). From there, the club has been expanding with new, non-friend students. Also, food (pizza) is a must to attract people (but pizza is prohibited in the UW library :( ).

Frank in North Carolina has been doing Wiki activities at Universities since 2012. Started Wikipedia North Carolina Triangle user group. Last year 6-7 editathons, just as many planned for 2016. Goal of usergroup is to coordinate scheduling meetings. 4 university connections so far! Rachel and Frank are faculty and Kevin and Addis are students.

Ganesh's user group just established in past few weeks. Just did A+F event in Georgia. Wikipedian for 10-12 years. Ganesh is a developer and has supported Wikipedia bots. Has created many articles on sea snails and many articles in Tamil. Ganesh was feeling sad, he only made 18,000 snail articles but 100,000 snails need articles.

Kirill in DC has been helping A+F events clean up and process their events to a close. WMDC Strategic Plan is in development and a draft will be published within a few weeks.

Frank says that Wikipedians should go to librarians first when doing university outreach. Librarians in rural and semi-rural areas often have encouragement or mandates to do outreach events, and will gladly cooperate with a Wikimedia-themed event.

Peaceray said that he has been busy, but wishes to develop the 2016 WikiConference USA conference proposal soon. Discussion will continue about this between Peaceray and Lane.

Pine said that he continues to develop Wikipedia tutorial videos. Also, he continues to talk with Wing Luke Museum for museum collaboration. Pine raises the issue of the bureaucracy outreach. Volunteers are ready to do Wikipedia-focused activities like training and presentation, but not the process of office management.

Richard talked about Great American Wiknic coming up. Chance to meet others and expand reach.

Lane spoke about the WMF Board - 10 members. 3 are elected by the community, 2 are elected by chapters (e.g. NYC / DC). We can foresee more chapters being created by the next election of chapter board members, which is in three years. Election: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016 Candidate questions (ask!): https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Questions

Kevin mentioned how him and Addis (per Addis' idea) are looking at creating an Ohio user group (Wiknic in Ohio?). Rachel/Lane bring up how Minnesota also has a user group. It takes just 3 people to create one, so it's not hard!

Lane updated us on the status of WikiConference USA NYC and DC are tired. Trying to get Seattle to host. Seems like it would work, but getting the budget approved is a bureaucratic pain - Lane is working on that now (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG/Cascadia_Wikimedians/WikiConference_USA_2016_%2B_WikiProject_Medicine_Conference_2016).

Pine: Suggested monthly meetings (Video rather than IRC). Sounds good.

Richard asked when we should host the Wikinic. Pine suggested July. July 4th is tough, but July 3rd or another surrounding date could work. Maybe the July 10 weekend. We also discussed using sitenotice banners; Richard is a Meta admin and can make this happen.

Rachel brings up the need for Minnesota to get more organized. They have events, and people hear about them, but they want to spread out, have more regular meetings, etc. There is/was? a Minnesota user group (not official) that would meet in the cities twice a year for social events. There needs to be "glue" to get people together.

Rachel says that now is the time to plan June Wiki Loves Pride events.

Possible asks & pan-US coordination going forward:

  • GLAM-US coordination and/or "GLAM-Wiki Consortium", possibly an intern, contract, or part-time position
  • Part-time Outreach Coordinator position, at least for Cascadia
  • Event planning for WikiConference USA (Peaceray and Lane are working on this)
  • NYC is hiring a Metrics Analyst
  • US Wikimedia merchandise shop
  • DC Strategic Plan is in development
  • Cascadia is working on getting its 501(c)(3)
  • Going forward we will resume having monthly pan-US meetings. Previously we had them on IRC. We will now try having them on Hangouts.

Topics to cover: Introductions Art+Feminism Wikimedia Foundation board elections Wiki Loves Pride Great American Wiknic Usergroups/chapters WikiConference USA Shared staff/support ideas