Ways to Participate
This page contains information about the Ways to participate campaign (page is work in progress)
Screenshot of the 'Participate Test' from Wikimedia Deutschland
People who are interested in Free Knowledge are often faced with the challenge of not having a readymade and convenient overview of the various opportunities for participation around Wikipedia.
Therefore, WMDE developed an interactive test that asks participants eight topical questions. Based on the responses, the test then suggests individual opportunities of volunteering for Free Knowledge. The test offers a previously non-existent overview of different opportunities to participate and entry points to the Wikimedia ecosystem, including Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, and advocacy for Open Data and Free Knowledge.
The test shows the broad range of opportunities to participate by using a light-hearted, humorous tone. The test can be taken online using a regular desktop-based web browser or on mobile devices. For showcasing purposes at events, we created additional giveaways related to the test result (type of Free Knowledge), such as post cards and stickers.
The test was originally developed for deployment at re:publica 2019 in Berlin and has since been showcased at various events. In addition, we created the website www.wikimedia.de/mitmachen, where the test can be taken unrelated to a specific event. There, users will also find additional links to resources that that ease the entry into Wikimedia projects. For the future, we see more deployments at events such as WikidataCon and Chaos Communication Congress.
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Background and Approach
Based on the 2019 yearly plan at WMDE, one goal was to identify various opportunities for participation in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. A strategic decision was made to focus on Wikipedia. For this purpose, possible roles and tasks within the communities of Free Knowledge had to be defined and enriched with the necessary competencies and interests.
On the one hand, the basic structure of the test and the preparatory work on the presupposition of possible families of tasks and roles in the Wikimedia projects. On the other hand, they take into consideration the interests of people looking for a volunteering opportunity. Personality types or typologies (such as Myers-Briggs, etc.) were not considered.
For the purpose of the test, the potential results were conceptualized as typical roles in projects around Free Knowledge. Each role refers to one Wikimedia project (Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, and the non-profit organization Wikimedia Deutschland) and is deposited with the typical tasks, needed competencies, and underlying conditions that are potentially of interest to the target group. These categories are matched with interesting aspects that have been translated into potential test questions. All types are described in a positive and activating manner, highlighting the individual strengths. Humor and self-deprecation are part of the appearance and are meant to emphasize a sympathetic and approachable expression.
One current challenge for us consists of bringing interested individuals into Wikimedia projects. There are but few specific learning opportunities and prescribed entry pathways that ease the onboarding of potential volunteers into the projects. This is the starting point for another phase of this project.
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The ‘Participate Test’ (“Mitmachtest”) was born out of Goal 1 from Wikimedia Deutschland’s yearly plan for 2019: “The communities of Free Knowledge are strong.” The test aims for the criterion “An overview of possible tasks and roles for participation is prepared, checked for comprehensibility, and published.”
Besides the main goal of preparing and publishing potential tasks and roles, the test has additional communication goals. These include:
- raising awareness of the opportunities for participation in Wikimedia projects
- fostering volunteer identification with the projects around Free Knowledge
- pointing out the great variety of opportunities to participate
Furthermore, when deployed at events, the test offers a low-threshold point of contact that enables us to explain the various Wikimedia projects.
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Approach and Timetable
Phase 1: January to June 2019
- January – March 2019: Idea, concept, and preparatory work for the test
- April – May 2019: Development of the type tests and realization of the unity app and landing page
- May 6 – 8, 2019: Deployment during re:publica 2019
- Additional deployments during the ‘Day of Free Knowledge’ (“Tag des Freien Wissens”) and the conference ‘This is Net Politics’ (“Das ist Netzpolitik”)
Phase 2: July to October 2019
- July 2019: Decision to use the Mitmach-Test for a social media campaign
- September 2019: Implementation of the social media campaign and transfer of the test into a responsive WordPress content management system. The latter seeks to also enable use of the application on mobile devices.
- October 2019: Deployment of the social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram
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The Mitmachtest has thus far been introduced at re:publica 2019, the ‘Day of Free Knowledge’ (“Tag des Freien Wissens”), and the conference ‘This is Net Politics’ (“Das ist Netzpolitik”). Wikimedia Deutschland plans to to also deploy the test during WikidataCon and Chaos Communication Congress. In addition, participating local groups at the Wikipedia Action Day 2019 can use the test.
There will also be a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram in October that refers to the test’s landing page.
Call for Feedback and Use
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