Dear all,
These are my insights from GLAMcamp Amsterdam. I have put them in form of
some key questions. For me it was a brilliant learning experience. So, most
of these answers are not mine, rather they have been generated as
collaborative responses by various people from different chapters. I am
grateful to WMF, WM-NL and WM-UK for their special interest in helping
encourage GLAM participation in India.
This is the link to the programs: and in each
session you will find an etherpad link to the live discussion!

Why GLAMwiki is becoming all the more important?

Flickr: popular mass upload tool but is no longer available; it has pending
requests and flickr commons has no money to support more file sharing.
Wikimedia Commons allows almost the same functions and metadata sharing,
open licensing with a bonus Wikipedia link (something that institutions go
by). Since most institutions don’t really know what Wikimedia or commons
is, the Wikipedia name leverages partnerships and allows them similar
archiving benefits. For us, it is also outreach.

Common questions by GLAM institutions in other countries:


   Why Wikipedia, why not our own website?

Because of the abysmal disparity in web-view. Simply, Wikipedia is the
5thmost visited, gives far more visibility in web traffic as compared
to your
own website. However, integrating wikis and providing links is not hard
either. So, it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.


   This is complicated, is there an easier way to collaborate?

Advice to GLAM and cultural/outreach people: Carry presentations (PPT),
simple statistics, don’t go into metrics jargon, show in simple numbers,
percentage, fractions how people can make a difference or vice versa. Use
things like color coding, emphasize on the importance and seriousness of
‘free knowledge’, larger things that Wikipedia is also in service of. This
helps people connect at different levels. Most importantly, break your
hierarchies and trash your rule books (or make simpler ones that use less
jargon). If you are concerned about quality editing there are two solutions
(get content specific editathons and organize a Wiki academy EVERY week).

What happens once partnership is over? How to sustain?

This is why a GLAM coordinator is not simply a GLAM person. S/he is also
someone who does massive outreach: Wikipedia takes your city; Wiki loves
monuments, wikiacademies, PR and network building with local, regional and
national resource persons outside the community. While in capacity as a
fellow, the idea is also to do value addition, train employees (at least
train in minor edits, article making, image uploading). Source one contact
through another.

(My take: As I see it, there has to be a crucial change in orientation.
>From exhaustive internal debates, discussions and tool building exercises,
it has to move and adapt to the larger Open and free scene, involving
people albeit on a temporary basis and expanding. Monopolizing Wikipedia as
a city, state or indic language space is only going to create a highly
concentrated yet a very niche community)


   (Question asked to me) 52 cultural partnerships listed on GLAM request
   page, why not India?

Frankly, I had no answers why. My hunch is that since traditionally science
and technology oriented courses and vocations have been encouraged, few lay
people really know their culture or feel as passionately about
conservation. On the other hand, placement of government officials to
unrelated departments (museums) included leaves them little motivation to
go beyond their regular duties. On the other hand, there is also a large
communication and visibility problem since Wikimeetups aren’t really a
matter of common knowledge even to journalists. Wikimedia India really
needs to carve out a place and get involved in academic and art spaces,
have people just talk about their experiences, present smaller individual
pilots (Sumanna)


   Why no Indian participation in ‘This month in GLAM’?

Because there is really no ‘Indian’ GLAM or ‘Indian’ community. As
wonderful as the Indic language efforts are, it would be great if there
were biannual national meet-ups, regional meets  and more frequent local
meets. Identify at least 4-5 cities that can act as pivotal regional
meeting and resource points. This will also help generate smaller goals and
activities and we can have our own newsletter as well as TMIG updates.


   How do we identify, regulate and strengthen local community based

Most important: Every chapter must have a national outreach coordinator.
Have mandatory sections in agenda: Gender gap, Indic, English, GLAM, tools,
updates, outreach. Invite guest speakers or professors who can give a talk
or attend and that way get to see the internal workings of the local
community. Try and concretize a press team, media releases, word of mouth,
social networking channel so that every time news passes by, we have a
loyal reader, enthusiast base.


   What tools are used to digitize artifacts?

Proposed GLAMtoolset, more on etherpad, apart from this proposal to move
GLAM to a different portal from Outreach redirect. More on etherpad


   Do people really know who a Wikipedian is, what Wikimedia projects are

Andy Mabbett, Fae from UK chapter spoke about their fund raising and
outreach activities, also on how to recruit new editors and how to recruit
new Wikimedians

Important task is to categorically do outreach and editor involvement


   Who all do you invite in a wikimeetup?

Go to institutions and say how can we help you

Go with groups to cultural institutions and get volunteers so that  you get
focused group

Organize a fb group and event

Is there a monthly update?

Need for a cultural outreach coordinator position

Need for a monthly newsletter that binds all indic and English community

Need to look at GLAMs more seriously because women’s outreach and GLAM are
intricately connected.

Need to move to more friendly UIs and keep discussions going. Of course,
mailing lists exist and they can be for people specifically involved in a
community but for the novices and to attract more people, there is a need
to get FB groups going, have more Wiki academies.

These are a few salient questions. I will appreciate your suggestions,
advice, comments and questions. Let us try and be civil about criticism,
like mature, secure adults :) Look forward to your responses!



Noopur Raval
Arts and Aesthetics
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Ph: 9650567690
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