WALRUS/March 2020

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

WALRUS is a monthly online meeting for Wikimedia community organizers in the United States to discuss and collaborate on events and outreach of national interest.

Join the pan-USA Wikimedia local activists' chat on Monday March 16 2020 at 6:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern.

Zoom videoconference information[edit]

Getting set up with Zoom[edit]

How to join the meeting[edit]

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Chromebook or Android:


One tap mobile

+16468769923,,279382470# US (New York)
+14086380968,,279382470# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
+1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 279 382 470
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/agcOMmoE4

Chair & secretary for this month[edit]

  • Meeting host for Zoom: Pharos
  • Meeting chair: Pharos (TBC)
  • Meeting secretary for minutes: (TBC)


  • Introductions


  1. Pharos
  2. Lane - Events canceled in NYC. WikiProject Remote Event Participation (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiProject_remote_event_participation) to work on solutions and support for remote participation; WCNA ahead of the curve (etherpads everywhere!)
  3. Rosie - Sacramento State events postponed
  4. Megan - City University of New York is in chaos, school missing soap, employees still asked to come into work, in progress of shutting down library while school wraps down. Wikimedia New York City is not doing events for some time. Megan talked with Wikimedia Foundation about not hosting in-person events until the pandemic is over according to the World Health orgnaization
  5. Kevin - in Dallas but formerly of Ohio, now at 1-year anniversary for Cleveland Museum doing open access program; Art+Feminism @ Ohio State postponed to Fall.
  6. Mary Anne - from Nashville, first day working at home, collaborating with Cliff Anderson at Vanderbuilt, cancelled Art+Feminism and Women in Peabody, moved speakers till 2021, not expecting students on campus until May 2020
  7. Peaceray - in Seattle there was a planned event sponsored by Comcast and also some events at local museums. All cancelled! Seattle has shut down all public venues including restaurants and bars. Editing wikipedia articles on historical plagues and epidemics.
  8. Susan Jacobson - over the weekend everything in the city locked down. Right now we are just waiting to find out what is next, and we are just waiting remotely. We might plan events for 6 months for now. There are several editing events planned but everything is now cancelled.
  9. RightCowLeftCoast - San Diego; had a recent in-person wiki editing event, very good outcomes, hopefully more of these in the future when events are possible again. There is an event plan in mid-April which has gone to all online classes. Wondercon postponed, Comic-con not yet postponed but if it were to happen, for 167,000 people gathered, then it woudl include wiki events.
  10. Pine - most of my wikipedia activities are online anyway so for me this is not a big change, but I was excited for all these events by Cascadia Wikimedians. I have been very busy with online activities such as Signpost and Navwiki.
  11. Jeffrey - Was at the last offiical in-person wiki event! Our focus as a movement is toward online technology so we are fortunate to have some past preparation for this and be enthusiastic about moving more in this direction.
  12. Andrew - 20 events cancelled for March in NYC and DC. CROW initiative; Telegram chat (80+ people) to discuss remote webconferencing and collab solutions. Includes volunteers and WMF folks. What can we do online to provide the best alternative to in-person events? Wiki community wants free and open, but commercial solutions typically have the best functionality. Andrew is thinking of reviving his Wikipedia Weekly podcast which he did years ago but has paused for some years. Andrew says that Wikimania is not officially cancelled right now, but he is in the steering committee to make the call, and he personally sees no path by means of which it could go forward.
  13. Susan Jacobson - events shutting down now, just waiting for a sense of the timeline when many of us should have more time to devote to online events until in person events can take place in 6? Months
  14. Abhishek - in India all the wiki related events are not happening. Most of the cities are in lockdown. There is a quarantine for anyone coming into the country as they must stay in a hospital for 14 days. Therefore I am staying in the United States. The wiki community is editing COVID-19 articles.
  15. SJ - Involved in some non-wiki communities tackling COVID19-related engineering and comm challenges. organizing endcoronavirus.org
  16. Captain Eek - putting together Art+Feminism event at University of Arizona. Using Zoom, which the university uses, but people in the community who would come to that event might not be familiar with zoom. I hear other people interested in more online meetings. I would join some!


  • Introductions

Platforms Introductions Recent edit-a-thons US affiliate event cancellations Community Resources/COVID-19 Notice and WMF policy Wikimedia Summit 2020 and global event cancellations Berlin organizers expressed an interest in having the event online. They have not chosen a channel. They have asked invited attendees to keep the conference days blocked out and asked that people expect to attend, just virtually. Another challenge is time zones when attendees are world-wide. Pine: Is it not the case that Zoom permits 1000s of attendees? I think Google Meet does not permit such large numbers of attendees. Citrix, I think, does. Andrew: The current thought of the organizers is to still limit conference participation to the same number of people. They see some value in having small group discussion with a representative group of attendees. WikiProject remote event participation and alternatives Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20 and beyond Is there anything more to say about the strategic process right now? Jeffrey: the process is disrupted. The plan was to talk about this at the summit. There were more comments on the meta pages than the Wikimedia Foundation staff expected, and also the discussion went on beyond the allotted time. People are still talking. Rosie: We are aware that there are multiple affiliates in the United States. Also there is Wiki Education Foundation which based in the United States which is not an affiliate but does great projects. There is WikiConference North America as a regional collaboration. I am on the Affiliations Committee and see what other groups are using. In Russia, for example, they have a large territory and many language communities which organize to do various projects. Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 movement brand project and "Wikipedia"/"Wikimedia" w:Wikipedia:WikiProject COVID-19 w:Category:2020 coronavirus outbreak in the United States Jason Moore / Another Believer in Cascadia has set up a project which has become popular for coordinating these efforts Abhishek - in India people have a process for translating content into various languages because India is a highly multilingual country Peaceray - people are developing various historical articles about pandemics


  • Attendees