Hi AshLin, Thank you for the post on the latest Wikipedia Pune meetup. I personally find smaller Wikipedia meetups to be more engaging and interesting (for the simple reason that you meet with people who are as passionate about our projects as you are). Despite that, outreach is a very important part of our work as a team of Wikimedians and we must plan to get a larger group of potential Wikipedians involved in our meetups.
> * There is an urgent need for outreach, no matter how fruitless results may > seem in the short term, both for editors in English and Marathi wikipedias. Indeed. If we are to create a movement in India, it must be done with attention from the mainstream media. Most of the media attention that our projects have received in India has been from the print media, and as I understand we must have our projects and volunteers covered by television channels which will have a higher impression rate on the general public and can draw a significant amount of attention. At the same time, skilled volunteers can support a pan-India communications network of media-persons and train more volunteers to draw the attention of the media on our newest projects and their projected impact on users accessing our content. This can be done through various means. Through effective collaboration amongst volunteers across Indian cities, we can organize Wikimedia events and meetups with different levels of focus and sophistication e.g. events that focus on the academia, students and teachers, social entrepreneurs and activists, writers and researchers, media people etc. This is because these classes of individuals are likely to have more interest and available time for pursuing something on Wikimedia projects. Such focused events captured by television can pique the curiosity of individuals who fit the profile of an average Wikipedian (who is by no means average). Additionally, with regard to the Wikipedia project, my experience has been that Indian users are likely to be passive consumers of information rather than active creators of valuable content. In order to have a breakthrough with identifying users likely to edit content on our projects, we must engage our audiences with topics with which they are most likely to relate to and feel a sense of ownership about. A Wikipedia editing-workshop organized at the GNUnify event in Pune did not manage to get a lot of interest from the conference participants even though there were scores of students and other participants available for tracks and presentations by Wikimedians. Amongst the few who joined in for training workshop, [[User:Rangilo Gujarati]] was one who actually made an attempt to edit a few articles on Wikipedia (he made a few edits about his native city and school).* Inasmuch my efforts at GNUnify bore fruit and I am very proud of this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Rangilo_Gujarati A large number of photographers from India are now uploading pictures of great quality on flickr under free licenses making them available for use on our projects. The usability team at the Wikimedia Foundation is working on an upload wizard to make it user-friendly to upload media on to WMF servers. This will all contribute to a palpable shift in interest of photographers towards the Wikimedia Commons as an avenue for their work to be featured on Wikipedia and other projects which is a win-win situation for both Wikimedia and the photographers. Therefore, as a part of our outreach focus we must highlight different projects to draw the attention of potential Wikimedia enthusiasts viz. the Commons (photographers), Wiktionary (lexicographers), Wikibooks and Wikiversity (educators), Wikinews (media students), Wikisource (librarians and archivists), Mediawiki (developers) etc. AshLin, even though our efforts at outreach may not show immediate and conclusive proof of interest and participation, in the longer scheme of things we are slowly but surely having a positive impact on community growth. > * The planned activities approach should be replaced by the "How can > Wikipedia help you - how can you help Wikipedia" approach. Spoken like a true Wikipedian! At a Bangalore meetup organized in December 2010, Danese Cooper said, "The open-source movement is all about enlightened self-interest." Unless we understand and accept this philosophy, we will find it tough to sustain our work and the movement in India. For attracting potential long-term contributors our marketing strategy should be focused on structuring and selling a mutually beneficial relationship between the volunteers and our projects. Young students are probably our most precious resource and the most loyal subscribers to the ideas driving our movement. Events and campaigns must center around the idea that the opportunity cost of working on our projects is lower than pursuing other goals since our projects give people an opportunity to work with some of the smartest people on the planet. (-: > * It was felt that only one event be planned to be undertaken in different > directions. However, if more was achieved in that field - great. Example - > only one GLAM was to be approached this year, but if opportunity, or more > important volunteer effort was forthcoming, do more. At this juncture, collaboration with GLAM institutes can be optimized by gathering support from professional volunteers working in the cultural segment of the non-profit sector. Identification of such individuals is an onerous task, given that many of these volunteers might not be aware of the work and potential of Wikimedia projects in these segments. > * The monthly meetup must continue, so that a hard core of Wikipedians is > built up and activities discussed here even if the actual work was done by > people in between in their individual capacities and individual interests. Hardcore is good. :) I like what you're doing there Ashwin. As a chapter representative, I forsee that once WMIN is fully functional it will be able to extend organizational support to volunteers around the country to make their lives easier by provisioning for the infrastructure and possibly professional help for back-end work and follow-through. * From my experience of the days when I was a anti-vandal on the English Wikipedia, there was a time of the day when the entire country of England would explode with activity on school articles. Most of these edits were un-constructive vandalism and they were quickly identified and reverted by RC patrollers. Reverting vandalism is much more easier now than it was in those days given the availability of more advanced tools, vandalbots and inbuilt features in the software which take care of most obvious problems. I believe there is a huge potential to convert these young vandals into productive contributors. We must understand that these users are younger than the average reader and therefore they must be addressed in a different manner. For one, we must use different warning templates for belligerent IPs resolving to schools and block them for a shorter duration to minimize collateral damage. Additionally, the encyclopedia must become more tolerant towards article creation on schools and universities because it is highly likely that first-time contributors will write something about their institute or school or city when they attempt to make their first edits to the project. We must actively advocate use of pseudonymous account creation for obvious reasons and in order to protect the real-life identities of minors, and adults who are not supposed to be editing Wikipedia at work. ;-) Anonymity can also bring out the best (and the worst) in individuals as elucidated by David McCraney who blogs at "You are not so smart!" <http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/02/10/deindividuation/>. This is a very interesting perspective on individuality, anonymity and the hivemind. Best wishes, Anirudh Bhati +91 9328712208 Skype: anirudhsbh > ------------------------------------------------------ > > _______________________________________________ > Wikimediaindia-l mailing list > Wikimediaindiaemail@example.com > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l > > _______________________________________________ Wikimediaindia-l mailing list Wikimediaindiafirstname.lastname@example.org https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l