On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Hisham Mundol <hmun...@wikimedia.org>wrote:

> Hi All (cross-posting to make sure I reach as much of India as possible),
> As you're aware, we had invited applications for Campus Ambassadors for the
> upcoming Pune Pilot of the India Campus Program.
> The response has been fantastic: we've received ~500 applications/enquiries
> from across India, ~70 of which were from Pune.  This has been really
> heartening - indicating the desire of many to support the Wikimedia
> movement. It's also been overwhelming because we need to process all the
> applications, respond to applicants, etc.!

> I think, most critically, it also presents an amazing opportunity for us to
> introduce new people to Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia) - and
> invite them to join the community.    I've interviewed quite a few and there
> is a recurring theme I hear from many of them.  It goes something like,
> "I've been using Wikipedia for years and years, and I love it.  I want to
> contribute back to it - but I wasn't sure how.  Then I saw the banner and
> decided this was a great way to help."  The overwhelming common trait I have
> noticed in the applicants is that they are bright, well-intentioned and
> eager to contribute.
I personally would like to see the nomenclature change: from 'campus
ambassadors' etc to 'Knowledge Facilitators', befitting by far two goals.
One is the democratisation of knowledge, core to this initiative, and the
other is the recognition of anyone of any age as a contributor (implicit in
Hisham's characterisation of 'no-one left behind').

> i) they could form student clubs in their respective educational
> establishments
> ii) they could form Wikipedia clubs in their workplaces/social groups (as a
> number of applicants are working professionals, and no longer on campus)
> iii) they could become individual editors

Each community, be it one based on educational establishments or any other,
could organise informal camps, which we could call wikiups, implying a
quickly put together 'camp', where a tiny group, 3 or 4 persons, could
collaborate on original contributions or editing. If such meetings could be
held on a weekly basis, then perhaps they could alternate between writing
and editing, to give each skill a good workout. I am emphasising the
importance of working in groups as a way forward from a concern expressed
some months back in our meeting in Mumbai, that many youngsters need a
helping hand to overcome the fear of failure - that translates into a
reluctance to take part - that is unfortunately instilled in much of our
school system.

Frequent regular meetings would also help build an impetus to attend some of
the additional work-focused suggestions, attending an 'Academy' session or
running 'incubation' programs. It would also lessen the disadvantage of not
being able to make it to some infrequently held local Wiki-meetups. It also
lends itself to the ease of adding a visiting 'trainer' who can create
lively sessions of tips and tricks.


Fool On The Hill <http://communicall.wordpress.com>
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