and this is where I feel a little stupid because Arnav has been hounding me for 
answers to these very same questions for a while now, and I have been lax.  
Arnav, apologies and please see inline...


On Dec 3, 2011, at 3:02 PM, Arnav Sonara wrote:

> Hello,
> This is User:Rangilo_Gujarati here basically from Gujarat and now in Pune, am 
> planning an outreach event most probably a workshop in MS University Baroda, 
> Gujarat during their forthcoming technical festival Footprints. Also am the 
> Campus Ambassador for India Education Program too, I need some input from you 
> guys.
> The organizers of this event have basically no idea about what a community is 
> or how WP works, since I ll be targeting newbies I am planning to start from 
> Introduction to WP, then an editing session and main motto behind this would 
> be to start an active community in Baroda or Gujarat and get the contributors 
> to EN and GU WP and commons too.
> Now the organizers are asking few questions like "Why anyone should attend 
> it?",

> Wikipedia is (arguably) the worlds most popular source of knowledge.  It is 
> entirely free to use.  Globally 450+ million read Wikipedia articles every 
> month - and in India, betwen 15-17 million people read it every month.  Few 
> people however know about how content actually reaches Wikipedia.  Folks 
> attending will get an insight and introduction into how content gets onto 
> Wikipedia as well as basic introductions on how they can contribute content 
> and links with local community members who can support them if they choose to 
> edit.
> People attending will get an opportunity to learn a little bit about 
> participating in this fascinating free knowledge project and join tens of 
> thousands of committed, learned and high-minded community members all over 
> the world in their quest to spread spread free knowledge to every single 
> human being on the planet.
> Folks who edit wikipedia gain tremendous pride and satisfaction from their 
> contributions.  Folks who start to edit Wikipedia learn amazing things as 
> they start their editing journey - including better writing ability, richer 
> critical thinking and stronger research skills.  These are all incredibly 
> useful in their academic and professional and indeed personal lives.
> "What would be the exclusivity of the workshop?",

I'd play this a little differently.  If they are really keen on exclusivity, 
one can always say that while we conduct workshops and academies and meetups, 
the numbers are relatively small.  (My guess on workshops and academies is that 
we might have conducted <50 in the last year.)  In a country like India, <50 is 
hugely exclusive!

> Given it is a festival, and there are likely to be students from other 
> colleges, not sure we can (or want to make it exclusive for that college.)
> "How can we (university and attendees) be benefited from this?".

Please see the last point on the question, "Why should anyone attend?"  ...For 
the University, you can rattle of the list of the kind of colleges that have 
worked with us globally.  Some of them are really well known and are available 
 and include Columbia, Georgetown, George Washington, New York, 
California-Berkely, Yale, etc. etc. etc.

> They are worried too much about "exclusivity", how to convince them that 
> these type of sessions are some thing more than "exclusively in Footprints", 
> "first time in gujarat" ??

Sometimes, the questions they are raising are best answered in person or on the 
phone.  If you need me to speak to them, or even come down in person, happy to 
do that.  Just let me know.  I shall reach out to you and sort out the letter 
from.  (...and yes, I know I have delayed the letter to you.)

> Since I have no experience in conducting an outreach workshop independently I 
> want your feedback on it, and what possibly should I answer them?.
> Please do reply with your valuable suggestions/critics.

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