On Feb 18, 2012, at 3:52 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 17:12, Nitika <ntan...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> The following is a post I've put up on the India Program page on meta 
> regarding outreach (Please 
> see:http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:India_Program/Outreach_Programs). 
> Please do comment on the page itself; I'm posting it on this mailing list 
> only to make sure it doesn't slip your attention.
> Bumping up to grab attention. I know there are many folks with years of 
> outreach experience on the list. Can you please comment on the talk page? (Or 
> even here, I could do the job of copypasting!) It is important to discuss, 
> get perspectives / approaches towards outreach right since we would spending 
> a lot of time,energy, donor money on this and its essential to design them 
> well so we could make it effective and better.
> Slightly related :-
> <shamelessplug>
> http://wikimania2012.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Digital_Outreach_and_Physical_Outreach
> </shamelessplug>

Bumping right back to get attention since this is such an important topic.  
Here are 10 questions that we need answers for and the India Program team is 
grappling with
Do we know what is the right profile of audience for an outreach session? (tech 
or non-tech / students or professionals / age group / language group?)  We must 
avoid shooting in the dark and that's the only way that the current conversion 
rate of <0.1% (my guesstimate) can be come more reasonable.
How do we draw the right balance between giving them enough information during 
and outreach session that the feel adequate to successfully edit but not too 
much that they get intimidated and run off?
Can we make sure that ALL workshops are not theory sessions but that everyone 
has a computer in front of them and can actually do very basic editing - like 
creating a user name and making 5 edits, even if they are not particularly 
complex.  Theory will get us nowhere.  This also has implications on the 
maximum number of attendees as well as our not doing sessions where all we have 
a box to stand on and give random gyan.
What can we do to make sure we stay in touch with newbies post the session.  We 
have to figure out an efficient way of reaching out after the workshop because 
their heads will be full of doubts once they actually start editing.  Also, 
once they have been "warmed-up" by the workshop, we must gently nudge them read 
up more and click on edit.
How can we anticipate the inevitably teething up issues for newbies and 
proactively address them - in the outreach and in the post-outreach contact.  
I'm wildly generalising but I fear I might be right that we already know the 
typical problems newbies.  .First of all, they want to create brand new 
articles - instead of looking at incremental improvements to existing articles. 
 Secondly, especially on en-wp, they find it difficult to figure out what topic 
to work on because "everything is covered fully" - which we know is not the 
case.  Thirdly, they stumble on notability, NPOV and MoS.  Fourthly,  they find 
referencing tedious.  Fifthly, some mess around and find vandalism fun.  
Sixthly, something like notability isn't immediately clear to them because one 
often approaches things with a insular frame of reference.  Can we address 
clinically address these in workshops?
How do use social networks effectively - but not get drowned in them.  fb is a 
great way of attracting users to workshops or photothons - but is a terrible 
place to discuss policies.  How do we get the right balance? 
Specifically for Indic languages, how do we make sure that we have relatively 
less rigid and comprehensive policies (which work for en-wp with tens of 
thousands of editors - but is totally impractical when we have <50 editors 
which is the case for all but 3 Indic communities.)
Specifically for en-wp, how do we provide some kind of additional support on 
encyclopedic writing in English - especially given that English is not a native 
language.  Would having newbie English editors from India as part of some kind 
of a group with experienced English editors from India (who would therefore be 
intimately familiar with the linguistic challenges) to support them make sense 
and is it practical?  (While I write this, I am also acutely aware that we 
can't right a lifetime's education of a newbie - but can we make useful baby 
Is there a way we can get existing editors who might not be confident of their 
public speaking skills - but are great 1-on-1 - to adopt newbies and have mini 
workshops on an individual basis?  (I know this is inefficient - but it affords 
them a chance to contribute in outreach as well and over time, I am confident 
that many will gain the self-assurance to handle larger audiences.)
Lastly, and most certainly not the least, how do we measure the impact of every 
single outreach session, analyse the reasons for success or otherwise? How do 
we disseminate these learnings to the community?
Have posted these on the page Logic referred to 

 sounds like a fantastic session to attend!


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