Grants:PEG/Katie Filbert - Wikimedians in DC/GLAM-MCN outreach/Report

Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2010-11 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Compliance and completionEdit

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Answer YES or NO.
Is your project completed?
Answer YES or NO.
Did you use any of the grant funds?
Answer YES or NO.
YES (all of the funds)

Activities and lessons learnedEdit

This section describes what the grantee did, and what the grantee learned from implementing the project. This section should be useful to others implementing similar projects and is an opportunity for the grantee to reflect on the project's performance.


Provide a detailed list of activities performed to complete this project, descriptions of these activities, and the amount of time spent on each activity. This section should also include a list of participants, or a link to pictures, blog posts, or videos from the project or event.

I attended the Museum Computer Network (MCN) conference at a time when Wikimedia's GLAM initiatives were new and there was great potential to connect with museum technologists. The previous summer (2010), Liam Wyatt served as Wikipedian-in-Residence at the British Museum. Through Liam, Wikimedians in DC made initial contact with staff at the Smithsonian. We held a meetup and a workshop during the summer. The person who organized that then left DC to return to school. In order to continue momentum, we needed someone else to step up and lead things.

Many of the key Smithsonian people attend the MCN conference and even help with organizing it, as well as numerous technologists from around the US and world. At the MCN conference, I got better connected with Smithsonian staff and met new staff members. I also got to know people at the Met in NYC, and other places and discussed potential collaborations with Wikimedia projects. I also got to meet Lori Phillips (Wikimedian / Wikipedian-in-Residence in Indianapolis) and Liam Wyatt also attended. I also gained understanding of the sort of problems and issues the museum technology community has and could think better about how working with Wikimedia could help them (and us).

Following the conference, I was able to follow up with the Smithsonian and be connected with the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. This has since lead to a very strong and on-going partnership that included having a Wikipedian-in-Residence there (and later at the Smithsonian Libraries also) and numerous edit-a-thons. Things have gone well enough that our contacts at the Archives of American Art and Smithsonian Libraries can now self-organize their own edit-a-thons with more minimal support needed from the DC chapter. (although we remain involved and help, but it's more sustainable now) In spring 2011, I also co-presented with Sarah Steirch at Ignite Smithsonian, which had key people in attendance including the Smithsonian CTO.

Being connected with the museum tech community, I was able to attend MCN again the following year with a scholarship from their program, and further strengthened ties between our communities. I also became better connected on the mailing lists and twitter, became aware of local DC meetups for museum/culture tech and unconference events to attend.

In addition to connecting with the Smithsonian, I gained more confidence to talk with other cultural institutions such as archives. After MCN, I got connected with the National Archives, met with them and worked with them to initiate on-going collaboration. I also built connections with the DC Public Library, Baltimore Heritage and Library of Congress, and since then the DC chapter is even better connected with the cultural heritage / museum tech community in the DC region.

Without attending MCN and having time to connect more directly with the museum technology community, I am not sure I would have been able to connect with the Archives of American Art and be as confident/suited for talking with the National Archives. (although separately I was making some connections via the FedFlix project) With help from others in the DC chapter, these partnerships have been tremendously more successful than I ever imagined. :)

See also:

Lessons learnedEdit

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
Everything went well, in terms of the conference and meeting folks, except for the unconference portion of the conference.
What did not go well?
I was not very aware of the reporting requirements so failed to document my expenses so carefully in a way that allows me to make a good report. But know for sure that my expenses went beyond the requested amount and I covered some expenses personally. In the future, I am aware of the requirements and can do careful documentation from the start of the project or grant.
In terms of the conference itself, I did volunteer to lead an unconference session about working with Wikipedia (and OSM) for museum / cultural purposes. However, the unconference generally was not well-attended and I only got a few people. (though did include Smithsonian people) The unconference schedule was obviously not in the program booklet, so people had to go look at a board to see those sessions and most people didn't bother. I became aware of MCN too late to submit a proper talk submission for the main conference, but did so the following year. I also learned generally that it is a bad idea to schedule unconference concurrently with scheduled sessions. That's why for Wikimania 2012, we made an extra, separate day for the unconference (although not sure it went perfectly either, but was much better than MCN).
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
I would document my expenses carefully in a way that allows easy reporting.
I would also submit a talk for the main program. In the second year, I did give a talk.

Project goal and measures of successEdit

This section should reference the project goals and measures of success described in the approved grant submission. See Grants:PEG/Katie Filbert - Wikimedians in DC/GLAM-MCN outreach to review the goals and metrics listed in the approved submission.

Project goalEdit

Provide the project goal here.
In the grant proposal, I suggested three topics for the unconference.
Three topics was too many to be separate sessions. But did talk about about all three aspects in my unconference session and discussed these with other attendees "in the hallways".

Measures of successEdit

List the measures of success exactly as provided in the approved grant submission, and evaluate your project according to each measure listed there.
  • New people from the museum-tech community signed up on Wikipedia: I can't quantify exactly but Smithsonian staff and numerous others from the museum-tech community are engaged with Wikipedia since and currently, some with sufficient expertise to carry on outreach.
  • Ongoing Smithsonian partnership, including additional workshops or one-on-one training. - We have ongoing partnership with the Smithsonian, have done numerous edit-a-thons, workshops and trainings (via Wikipedian-in-Residence programs especially).
  • Work towards a "pilot" web or mobile application that integrates Wikipedia content, and transforms it into a useful format for a museum/gallery visitor (or Zoo or other such place) - this is a bit too involved to undertake, especially as an individual, and not as central to the goals of attending the conference.
Provide an overall assessment of how your project went according to these measures.
see above
If you were to plan a similar project, would you measure it differently? If yes, please explain how.
attending a conference is something difficult to measure. More speaking slots, more audience? more stickers / materials given out? more contacts (although got a lot of these)


This section ties this project to Wikimedia's broader goals, and shows what the project accomplished.

What impact did this project have on WMF's mission and the strategic goals? Please answer in 1 -2 paragraphs and include specific measures of impact such as the number of readers or editors reached by a particular project, or the number of articles edited or improved.
Stabilize infrastructure
Increase participation
Improve quality
Increase reach
Encourage innovation

We increased participation, reach and quality in Wikimedia projects by engaging the Smithsonian and the museum tech community generally. Related events that I and the DC community organized related to GLAM since:

In addition, there have been three Wikipedian-in-Residence internships at the Smithsonian (one at Archives of American Art, one at Smithsonian Libraries, one that served the Smithsonian generally. Two of these were paid internship opportunities, which speaks to the importance that they place on involvement with Wikimedia projects.

Reporting and documentation of expendituresEdit

This section describes the grant's use of funds


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No".

No - I don't have all the documentation currently available to me. Had I been more aware of these requirements at the time, this would have been quick and easy. But I linked above to the hotel rate, conference fee / membership, and per diem. There is no reason for these to differ from actual expenses.


Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions and dates. Review the instructions here.
These expenses should be listed in the same format as the budget table in your approved submission so that anyone reading this report may be able to easily compare budgeted vs. actual expenses.
Note that variances in the project budget over 10% per expense category must be approved in advance by WMF Grants Program staff. For all other variances, please provide an explanation in the table below.
  • $35 - MCN membership [1]
  • $250 - conference registration as "emerging professional" [2]
  • $860 = $149 (conference hotel rate) x 5 (+ 15% tax) [3]
  • $355 = $71 X 5 (meals & expenses, per diem) gov rate [4]
  • $400 = airfare

Unfortunately, the airfare was a bit higher than this because the grant wasn't approved early enough. Other expenses were exact as broken down in the request.

Nowaways, I think WMF policy is to make per diem 75% of the government rate, and that would be fine for future requests. Note that for meals, MCN does not provide meals so I had to buy my own. Also covered under per diem is cost of travel to/from the airport (e.g. taxi) and other miscellaneous, so it's not necessarily $71 on food. Also, note that I departed on the first day early in the morning, so it counts as a complete day for meals and I came back late on the last day, so also a complete day.

Total project budget (from your approved grant submission)
Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if the WMF grant is your only funding source)
Total amount spent on this project (this total should be the total calculated from the table above)
entire amount
Total amount of WMF grant funds spent on this project (this total will be the same as the total amount spent if the WMF grant is your only funding source)
entire amount
Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project? List them here.
personal funds.

Remaining fundsEdit

Are there any grant funds remaining?
Answer YES or NO.
Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)
If funds are remaining they must be returned to WMF, reallocated to mission-aligned activities, or applied to another approved grant.
Please state here if you intend to return unused funds to WMF, submit a request for reallocation, or submit a new grant request, and then follow the instructions on your approved grant submission.