Wikimedia Deutschland/Movement Reporting/Volunteers

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*** This is Wikimedia Deutschland's 2018 midterm report to the Wikimedia Movement, covering the time period from January 1st - June 30th 2018. For the full-year report for 2018 please go to Wikimedia Deutschland Movement Report 2018. ***

Attract, Support and Retain Volunteers [edit]

Supporting and promoting community and community-initiated projects has been and continues to be an essential, central task of Wikimedia Deutschland since its inception. Our community support teams comprise 11 staff who oversee the lending of technical equipment, the provision of financial project support, including stipends and reimbursement of travel costs, as well as logistical, administrative and organizational assistance for events, local hubs and other community projects. In addition, we are working towards reversing the decline in Wikipedia editors through testing a variety of approaches, including online campaigns, outreach, and new editor support.

The teams assure that volunteers are involved in continuous improvement of the support guidelines, and have online and offline spaces for exchange and collaboration. Supporting online activities is aimed at increasing the quality and diversity of content for the Wikimedia projects, while offline activities focus on increasing motivation, decrease conflict and broadly promote free knowledge.

In providing these services, our teams are led by a strong appreciation of volunteerism, seek continuous dialogue and participation, and strive towards a high level of satisfaction among volunteers. In 2018, we provide more tailored and intensive support for complex projects, and promote projects that go across language and project communities.


The 2018 strategy for growing the Wikipedia volunteer community is two-fold:

  • We are preparing Wikipedia outreach banner campaigns with a high distribution rate
  • We are offering onboarding services for people who have just created new accounts

We have set an ambitious objective: 400 new editors reach the 10th edit. We had learned about the ratio between distribution, new accounts and number of editors with 10+ edits in 2017. As a result, we know that we will need at least three widely displayed banners to get to 400. The first campaign in the spring was very successful in terms of the resulting new accounts, which were over 1,200. A joint campaign with WMAT and WMCH is currently being planned for Q4.

[Picture: One example for a banner used during WMDE's spring campaign 2018]
One example for a banner used during WMDE's spring campaign 2018 (Text: "Your contribution makes Wikipedia better" --> "Learn how to contribute to Wikipedia")

We have learned that the time period between the registration of a new user account and the 10th edit is much longer than we had anticipated: 74 days on average. Consequently, based on the numbers for the first two quarters, we foresee not meeting the objective of 400 within the calendar year.

Objective:

In 2018, as a result of Wikimedia Deutschland’s activities, 400 new editors reach their 10th edit.

Outcome (Q2):

As a result of our online campaigns, 15 newly registered editors reached their 10th edit (data collected one month after spring campaign).

Unlikely to be met

These outreach activities are combined with onboarding services aimed at supporting new editors during that crucial first phase. We started with assessing the usefulness of the onboarding services we had offered in 2017, and worked on next steps in an internal workshop. One of the next steps was the overhaul of training modules, which was done in close collaboration with community members. We started with the Wikipedia Training Modules available in English, adapted them for the German Wikipedia, translated them into German and re-produced the associated videos. The modules include text, videos, and short exercises. They do not require the installation of any extra software, and also do not require login. After community review, the trainings were structured into four modules.

Four online courses are now available in German:

For those new users that had completed or begun the modules, we registered a significantly higher number of edits than for those that had not taken the courses.

Objective:

In close coordination with community members we develop onboarding activities to ease the entry of new Wikipedia editors. These opportunities are utilized and viewed as helpful by new users.

Outcome (Q2):

Development/ adaptation of 4 training modules in close coordination with community members. Newly registered users, which took one or more of the trainings, edited substantially more than those who did not take a training (2.6 - 7.2 edits vs. 0.42 edits on average). After a workshop on de:wp help pages, several community members started improving popular on-wiki tutorials & help pages.

On track

In the fall of this year, we plan to add some offline support to the mix, in order to combine the potential of personal support with the reach of the online campaign and courses. To stay updated about our activities in this field, please check the project page on de:wp (German only): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikimedia_Deutschland/Neue_Ehrenamtliche/Kampagnen/Fr%C3%BChjahrsaktion_2018

Objective:

We create at least two trainings around communication and conflict resolution skills that are utilized by community members and viewed as helpful.

Outcome (Q2):

Slightly delayed: Additional communication and conflict trainings are still in the design stage, but planned to be finalized until autumn 2018. After a workshop on de:wp help pages, several community members started improving popular on-wiki tutorials & help pages.

Behind
Objective:

We search for ways to make the operation of Wikipedia easier for new users. We document barriers to usability for new authors and the resulting ideas are prioritized according to their potential, in order to assess them in terms of their feasibility.

Outcome (Q2):

Design of a community consultation to identify potential barriers for new editors has started. Results will be used for further qualitative research with new editors/ newcomers.

On track

In the first half of the year, our team was extremely busy with managing the consequences of the new EU Guidelines on data privacy (GDPR) which went into effect on May 25th.  It was very important to us to make sure we are compliant with the new laws, establish the necessary internal policies and processes and assure that our community members are well informed and provided with ways to make the choices they have. This took up significant resources from team members, delaying some of the activities we had planned around developing project support services.

In terms of our objectives around the number of people who apply for funding, we will be able to measure the increase later this summer. In terms of satisfaction and usefulness we met all indicators we set for ourselves in the annual plan. As planned, we provide more intensive, tailored support to projects with higher complexity. Some of these are:


Highlight Story: Wiki Loves Monuments goes European Year of Cultural Heritage (by Martin Rulsch)

Earlier this year, we started activities for a new project: Wiki Loves Monuments goes European Year of Cultural Heritage. This project, in part funded by a grant from the federal government, seeks to grow and broaden Wiki Loves Monuments with a special focus on European Cultural Heritage. Photographers are charged with finding subject that reflect European history and culture, and explore what this means for them.
Wiki Loves Monuments goes European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 Logo

In the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, Wikimedia Deutschland further develops the photo contest WLM together with volunteers and aims to make the contest more visible in public. By creating a special international prize, awareness will be raised for the significance of the European cultural heritage and its history among the international Wikimedia communities and the general public. Where can we find traces of shared European history? Which monuments in my vicinity are part of our shared history? The special prize is meant to encourage people to actively look for traces of this history and invites people of all ages to explore the cultural heritage.

By actively supporting the production of 360° photos for Wikipedia, volunteers can create a new perspective on monuments and their heritage. We want to especially motivate young people for the topic of cultural heritage as well as people who have not yet run projects with cultural heritage institutions. The general public itself will be encouraged to participate in our project “Wiki Loves Monuments goes EYCH” through Wikipedia banners and a multi-media communication strategy. All initiatives aim to embed the topic of European cultural heritage in the Wikimedia movement beyond the end of this project.

The project itself is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and is represented among many other projects on the German portal. The individual initiatives of this project are presented in more detail on our project page (German only).

Participants of the youth photo workshop in Erfurt, Germany

One of the first events of this project has been a photo workshop for people under 25 in early June 2018. In this workshop, young photo enthusiasts and all those that would like to become one, learned from experts how to take high quality photographs of monuments and submit them to the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments. At the end of the workshop, the participants discussed how they themselves can potentially replicate these workshops in their local contexts. The entire workshop was also recorded on video and thus will be used to show how to get involved as a volunteer in Wikipedia and contribute to the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Many more activities are planned for the remaining half of 2018.

[This article was first published on the WMDE Blog on May 25, 2018 in German and has been slightly shortened for this report.]



Objective:

The number of unduplicated people applying for Wikimedia Deutschland support for a project over 500 EUR increases by 10% compared to the prior year. (Target 2018: 71 / Baseline 2017: 64)

Outcome (Q2):

The number of unduplicated people applying for support of larger projects has risen in Q2 (54 applicants by June 7th). Additional campaigning to promote WMDE’s support offers, which was initially planned for Q3, has to be cancelled due to occupation of staff with several other support initiatives/ projects.

Behind
Objective:

The average assessment of volunteer support by the volunteers reaches an average of nine out of ten points in terms of satisfaction and usefulness, as evidenced by continuous application and analysis of the volunteer support survey tool. (‘Förderbarometer’ = “Support Barometer”)

Outcome (Q2):

Satisfaction rating: 9.19 (scale 0-10, mean value, n=124) Usefulness rating: 9,36 (scale 0-10, mean value, n=120) Period: March - May 2018, detailed analysis here.

On track
Objective:

The support of volunteer projects (new projects/>5,000 EUR) improves and, if requested, becomes more thorough, comprehensive and customized. The enhanced project support will be evaluated as particularly helpful.

Outcome (Q2):

More thorough, comprehensive support was applied to 6 larger, more complex volunteer projects and 4 local hubs. A checklist to evaluate this kind of support has been developed. As most of the projects are not fully completed yet, the evaluation will take place in Q3/Q4.

On track
Objective:

At least three projects have been initiated and implemented jointly with other volunteer communities. We will evaluate cooperative projects for their impact, using a common evaluation framework.

Outcome (Q2):

Started active promotion of WMDE support possibilities in the Open Street Map community. Kick-off with Open Knowledge Foundation Germany for a joint booth at the 35th Chaos Communication Congress. Further collaborative projects are under development right now.

On track