Grants talk:IEG/A revival of Outreach to Increase Participation

Latest comment: 11 years ago by Sbouterse (WMF)

This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
Thanks for engaging so fully in the process during this pilot round - we know it was not easy! Hope you'll return again in future rounds - let's keep talking in the IdeaLab about how we might experiment with the best ways to grow small-wiki communities, as this does seem to be an important challenge for the movement to learn more about.

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.
Questions? Contact us.
  • Well, I had a feeling this'd not get approved based on the responses here, and in particular the way the movement runs in India! I feel stupid, I had specifically asked you before proposing for this whether or not this type of outreach based projects are eligible (none got selected)? My concern is that the amount of time and energy got wasted, could have been saved with better, transparent eligibility criteria. As I have mentioned earlier, we need to know clearly what is the WMF's intent in such cases, e.g. in this case I believe as WMF has it's operation in India, this might have seemed irrelevant. It makes sense to me, and obvious to think in such way, despite the way the movement runs in India. Sorry Siko for bringing eligibility again, I clearly see this is one of the reason for this disapproval, no matter what you guys'd try to explain, if at all you are willing to respond. I hope wmf will bring transparency in this matter. -- ɑηsuмaη «T»
  • And it is not fair, the way the strategies were compared with IEP, these are no way similar as their scopes were totally different. I wonder who compared this? IEP was led by bunch of novice users, who have no experience whatsoever and they had targeted more students which was impossible to handle. I will not comeback as a proposer unless and until I have satisfactory responses from wmf.
  • My thanks to all of you, who participated in the discussion, review process, who thought and believed in my efforts, especially Siko for your support, Pine for your questions, and to each one of you at Odia Wiki Community and special thanks to Mrutyunjay as you agreed to join me for this. Thanks! :-) -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 07:32, 30 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ansuman, thanks for sharing these thoughts. I understand your disappointment and I'm sorry that you feel you may have wasted your time. Some thoughts on what you've raised here, point by point:
  • From my perspective, there is still a big difference between eligibility and selection, and so I don't think that just because we're not selecting something it necessarily should reflect back into the eligibility criteria for future rounds. Eligibility is a minimum bar of criteria that tells us a proposal is complete and meets the baseline rules of IEG. There are potentially zillions of ideas that would be eligible that may not get selected in the end though. To use a non-wiki metaphor: If you want to run for president, first you have to meet some basic eligibility criteria. In the US, for example, you need to be a natural born US citizen in order to be eligible for president. Just because you're eligible doesn't mean we're going to elect you president though, that will depend on who else is running and many other conversations that happen during the election period itself. When it comes to IEG selection, we're sifting between ideas to find the one that seems most fitting to try right now given the limited availability of funding, and that is going to mean that some ideas that are eligible still don't get selected. That is likely to always be the case, and my aim is to figure out how we make the process of proposing ideas productive for everyone, so that even those that are not selected can walk away with a better idea about how to accomplish their Wikimedia goals for the future (via another grant round, volunteer work, or whatever path you choose to go towards next). Based on your comments, it sounds like we still have more work to do in that area!
  • I do believe (as the rest of WMF's grantmaking staff does) that we can fund multiple different projects or types of grants in India. If WMF has other activities going on in Brasil or India or elsewhere, we want to make sure that we're connecting the dots between projects. And we want to avoid funding the same things that don't work in 3 different ways. But if anything, the fact that India is a strategic-focus country for Wikimedia makes it a good idea to consider making more IEGrants there, not less. So, I do not believe that this was the reason this project was not selected in this round either. I do think that it makes it more confusing to figure out for the committee what/when we fund a project in these countries, though, and I'm sorry that you had to be the test-run for this. Any suggestions for how we might improve in the future are most welcome!
  • Agree that the comparison to IEP as a whole may be an over-broad comment, I'm not sure that the way it was stated in the feedback here was clear enough to be useful. We do know, however, that WMF India did a lot of outreach and tried some things with education that did not work. The perspective from WMF is: let's not do the same things again and expect different results. In this case, I'm not sure that staff or the committee saw clearly enough what was specifically different in this project from past attempts that would ensure different results.
  • Your point about outreach has given me a lot to think about, so thanks for mentioned this. It is true, we did not end up selecting many of the more traditional-outreach type strategies in this pilot round. I think this is because for a long time outreach was the most common thing WMF funded - we had a team in India doing outreach, many chapters focus on outreach, etc - but there is little data that shows that offline outreach is the effective or only way to get more people involved in Wikipedia. So, in some ways, I think IEG begins at a time when we (WMF, volunteer editors, etc) are starting to think more about on-wiki projects that might help engage editors instead of or alongside more traditional outreach methods. We've got an editor retention/engagement problem, and we need scalable solutions to handle it. IEG is about trying new things, and we're interested in funding projects that experiment in new directions. That doesn't mean we wouldn't fund an outreach project ever. But if/when we do, we'll want to fund outreach that either uses an existing method that we know definitely works (the wikiArs project might be an example of this, actually), or we'll want to fund an outreach project that will teach us something new and specific about when and why outreach does or does not work.
  • In looking at the committee's scores again just now, I'm noticing 3 places that scores on this proposal were a bit low and suggest that you might consider these as more central reasons for not being selected in this round: sustainability, innovation, and new strategies (criteria C, I, and J). It strikes me that these match pretty well with some of the issues I've laid out about outreach above, and also some of the questions that came up in discussions about this proposal. If outreach relies on funding someone to do it, when the funding stops, we need to know there are systems in place that ensure the outreach will continue. This isn't an easy problem to solve, and it hasn't been solved yet. But I'm willing to spend some time thinking about it in the IdeaLab with you if/when you're ready! :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:57, 1 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi Siko, thanks for your thorough response. I completely understand your points how things have been. It was a little pain to wait for such long, because I actually had belief that I'd succeed with those strategies. I knew from the beginning that my proposal lacks innovative approach. But I thought I'd fill that gap with my presentation. Didn't know that innovation'd matter so much in order to get selected! And I will appreciate, if we can avoid such issues in future rounds. Well I can't say I am ready because I need a stability with my career path. Anyway I'm willing to improve the proposal. Let me know if you have any new innovative strategies we can use or if we can revise the complete proposal to something else which will lead us to the same goal. I might be interested again after 6-12 months, if you approve the revised proposal! Thanks for your continuous support, really appreciate it. :-) -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 14:07, 3 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
Ok, let me give this some thought and let's see if we can re-connect on these ideas in a few months, once some other things have settled for both of us! I'm looking forward to discussing strategies more soon. :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:50, 9 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

Aggregated feedback from the committee for A revival of Outreach to Increase Participation edit

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weakest 5=strongest
Potential for impact
(A) The project fits with the Wikimedia movement's strategic priorities 4
(B) The project has the potential to lead to significant online impact. 3
(C) The impact of the project can be sustained after the grant ends. 2
(D) The project has potential to be scaled or adapted for other languages or projects. 4
Ability to execute
(E) The project has demonstrated interest from a community it aims to serve. 3
(F) The project can be completed as scoped within 6 months with the requested funds. 4
(G) The budget is reasonable and an efficient use of funds. 3
(H) The individual(s) proposing the project have the required skills and experience needed to complete it. 4
Fostering innovation and learning
(I) The project has innovative potential to add new strategies and knowledge for solving important issues in the movement. 2
(J) The risk involved in the project's size and approach is appropriately balanced with its potential gain in terms of impact. 2
(K) The proposed measures of success are useful for evaluating whether or not the project was successful. 3
(L) The project supports or grows the diversity of the Wikimedia movement. 3
Comments from the committee:
  • The India education program failed with some similar outreach strategies. However, this project might serve as a pilot for the A2K team if it tries a modified approach. The drop-out rates may significantly increase if the participants are not trained to type Odia, which can be cumbersome, or if the accessibility to internet is poor, so a plan should be in place to address this.
  • Some concerns about volunteer sustainability after the end of the grant.
  • The project may be interesting to create some Evangelist-like volunteers, but it misses this objective
  • A laudable project, but as planned won't teach us anything new that can be scaled across the movement - it's not "piloting" anything or producing infrascruture others can build on.
  • Suggest considering online solutions, like geek-nic where people leave a note on a site about a proposed local meeting and invite people to it with the only costs being website running/maintenance costs.

Outreach and retention edit

Hi Ansuman, Thanks for submitting this proposal. My first question is about outreach as a proven strategy for engaging new Wikipedians. My impression of outreach work that has happened in India in the past is that the workshops result in very few people continuing to edit Wikipedia after the outreach program they've participated in has ended. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the evidence I've seen seems to show that these workshops are good for creating awareness about Wikipedia in a local community, of course, but they appear to be less effective at turning interest into edits, and for retaining these new editors for months or years to come. Many people might attend a workshop, a few of them will get excited about editing while they are in the room, but then after they go home it is quite common that only 1 person continues editing for a time. That makes a workshop a lot of invested time and energy (and in this case, funding) to gain just 1 new Wikipedian, and I wonder how well this approach can scale. I believe that the WMF India team may have moved away from investing lots of time in workshops and starting thinking towards other models of engaging new editors because of this - perhaps you have more details about this than I would. At any rate, I would be curious to hear more about what strategies you think you might try to avoid the limitations that have been discovered so far with offline outreach, and to encourage retention of editors you recruit via offline outreach. Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

  • Hi, thanks for those fields to infobox, the parameters were not there when I started. I was waiting for this cue to start the discussion since I've proposed, Thanks. Let me elaborate one by one.
  • Yes you are right, and to be frank I don't know how much I can change that. Because I think this is the case everywhere, the numbers might have been vary in other countries. No matter how hard we try there still would be people who don't want to contribute. Simple reasons are, they are just not interested, and many are into other things, their priorities are something else, many don't realize that how important this is for everybody, for the next generation, for the people who can't afford books, to digitize the books which'd lost in due time, to collect the information, other media which'd die if people don't write, share. We can't deny this, right? So we need to filter out people who are and could be interested, and make them understand/realize who don't know the importance of it.
  • Many still don't know the fact that they can edit and there are Odia version of Wikimedia sites exist. My belief is, if we can reach them nicely and make them understand the movement, many would come forward and join us.
  1. The question is How: As per my understanding, I think the presentation matters a lot. So I have few things in mind which we need to make them understand, few are "the mission of Wikimedia", "how many ways they can contribute; editing, copy editing, categorization, adding references, translation, help selecting image, article to Main page, with WikiProjects, with images; uploading to finding suitable images for articles, reverting spams, taking part in discussions and help create guidelines, contribution to other sister projects, helping new users, etc. etc."
  2. I think it's very important to show them different ways, so they can choose the best they'd want. They need to understand the Wikipedia system, so they'd find it interesting. How they can meet nice people from all over the world. Many things to learn while editing and doing other tasks. How it can help in academic fields, getting updated information. Get chance to travel across countries to attend wiki events if they have major contributions, get chance to participate in other free software events. Get to explore many things and expand their vision.
  3. I'd focus on Gender Gap, would try to tell many that we need Woman editors. (I need help on this... how I should be doing)
  4. How the Wikimedia sites are going to be user friendly, with features like Echo, Visual Editor.
  5. Few examples of Wikipedians, who have major contributions, their experience would be a good addition.
  6. Good contribution, which would remain forever and many would read them around the world, and how it feels for the same.
  7. How they can get helps with editing, and specifically how I can help as I'd be available anytime to help them.
  8. After telling all these things, we need to tell them that they should start with one task and slowly move to other areas as help always be available.
  9. Next followup workshop, basic editing (ll try to cover many things). Later on-wiki help, getting in touch on social media.
  10. And we could give merchandise to few contributors after assessing their contribution as token of appreciation.
  • And still many things to add, I'd be making a presentation highlighting all the points. And I could use some help getting more ideas, and compiling all these things together. I also want to conduct 2-4 workshops only for existing wikipedians. So they can learn many things which they don't know, to write good articles and help with other tasks. This is how I want to do it. Let me know what you think.
  • Other activities include are meeting professors, readers, fellows at universities, other internet users, make them understand the movement and how they can contribute. so they can carry the message to many. And other activities which I mentioned on proposal page.
  • WMF India operation:I don't think I know more than you. As per my knowledge they are trying through Education program and Article writing competition on Indic Wikis alongside Wiki workshops. Also on Social Media. What I think is as Education program, and Article competition need more volunteers to guide them with the editing and monitor the progress. So help from local Wikipedians needed.
  • To encourage editor retention we need to have a strong community, who can help new editors, and try to engage them by organizing WikiProjects, making corrections to their edits and other activities. For that we only have 2-3 volunteers on-wiki including me. That too we are unable to give more time there. That is why I am planning workshops for existing Wikimedians. Please let me know what you think, and if I am missing any points, and making any sense or not! -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 01:23, 13 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Sustaining the effort edit

Thanks for the answers above, they are helpful to see how you're thinking about this :-) I'm also wondering how you imagine the effort would be sustained after the grant period ends and you're no longer funded to follow up with people personally? How might the Wikipedians you revive or recruit build on what has been done to keep things going as volunteers? Are there any particular systems you'd set up to support the revival/recruitment/training of even more people by these volunteers? Siko (WMF) (talk) 05:53, 14 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, you think they are helpful; but do you think the way I am thinking would work? As in 2 years we have found many, are willing to contribute, few active though. The outreach activities which are conducted so far had no followups, that's the main reason those who are interested still haven't showed up. They don't know exactly how and where to start! But with this effort I am sure many will know how to contribute better, and after the grant period, we ll have more members in the community and it'd be easy for us to follow up then, and I ll be doing the same but less frequently.
Yes, I understand we need to engage the community afterwards. We have events in India for all the Wikimedia sites, but we need to be something going on at Odia Wikis. As of now I have this in mind. If it is possible, we can have something like this going on after 6 months or so. And I haven't thought of any particular systems!, may be I am wondering now if you could tell me, are there any such system, other communities are applying? But I believe definitely when we have more volunteers, we ll be able to conduct more meetups and workshops to continue this. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 18:36, 14 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure if it will work - I feel a bit skeptical because I've seen how much time/effort outreach takes just to get one more person involved, and so I'm not convinced it is always worth funding. On the other hand, you may be completely right that this is the only way for a small community to get started, and if so then it makes sense to experiment with it, and fund if that is what is needed to make it happen. If you tried this for 6 months and we found that sustained editing from new or old members are not increasing much as a result, I guess we would have our answer about whether outreach is an effective strategy - personally, I think it is ok to try something that we think might have equal chance of success and failure, as long as we learn from the outcomes either way, so we don't keep doing things that we know don't work again and again. I would encourage you to reach out to people who have done outreach for other small wikis in the past (including the India team) to see how effective they feel their strategies have been, so you could build upon that learning. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:17, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Okay, thanks for telling me how you feel about this, I feel confident now. I'd like to know from you if there is any point in your mind about outreach I or anybody should be aware of, like learning or experience. Or if you could direct me to a right person, would help a lot. Thanks. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 21:40, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'll see if I can find you a connection from the WMF India team that moved over to CIS, that seems like a good start. I also don't mean to discourage you. The truth is, I don't think anyone knows what the "right" way is to grow a Wikipedia community from such a small scale. You may be right that bootstrapping via direct outreach and follow up is the only way. If it is not the way, I'm not sure what the alternative is. On the other hand, I still wonder about the sustainability of funding someone to bootstrap the effort themselves - after 6 months, won't we still have the same old problem of no follow up? Creating materials, guides and organizing others to help do the followup as volunteers strikes me as something that may be a useful part of your strategy...or thinking about how/when online followup might be possible or scalable beyond the personal efforts you can provide. Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:46, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I think it's a continuous process, few to many will be needing follow up as they join. But over this period, many'd get follow up and that's what matters. I know we need to have guidelines, help pages in Odia, I am not sure how other small Wikipedia achieved this; but this has been a very slow process as we lack volunteers. The existing Wikipedians need to understand the Wikimedia system better in order to diversify their contributions. And we should conduct IRC meetup at least monthly or once in two months for the Indian language Wikipedias. I don't even see any online followup for the new users of Indian community to increase participation, as in general. We had few earlier, I don't see anything regular. This could help a bit, but there is no efforts from the prospective team. I think we have to do this on our own, I was thinking online followup beyond someone's personal efforts as you mentioned. -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 06:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

New participant edit

Hello Siko, to make sure this'd be successful I want someone from the Odia Community to join me during the meetups and workshops. Mrutyunjaya resides in Odisha and he is very active on both English and Odia Wikipedia. If this sounds eligible, I ll only add the amount for his travel and accommodation for the meetups and workshops. It should be within 300 USD or less. I have already talked to him and he is agreed. If it's fine, we will add the name on the participants section. Thanks :) -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 19:20, 14 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

At first he had agreed without having any thought, later as he realized he has other works lined up, now he is not sure if he can join me for all the workshops. But he is ready to join me whenever possible. Meanwhile let me see if I can find somebody who can join. And on another note I am having second thought whether or not I should do, as I am not getting enough support from the community. :( -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 08:30, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

It would be fine to add more participants to your project when/as you've got people willing to commit. If you wanted the grant to cover expenses for another participant's travel, we would want to see him named as a participant for the project. And, if you don't yet have the community support that you feel would be needed for this project at this point, you can always move your proposal back to draft status and keep working on the idea before submitting it in another round. Steven Zhang can tell you that he and I worked on his project idea for about a year before it became something WMF could fund as a fellowship. Some ideas will take time to develop, so please don't feel like you need to get started before you are ready, and remember that Wikipedia at least has No Deadline.  :-) Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. We are ready, the support I am getting should be enough (counting other people's support other than Odia community :)). I think many new users don't even understand what is going on here, so it's okay. And this should not take more time like your did, it was dispute resolution! (must 've been tough), if I remember correctly. I get the picture, need to put in to action. :-)
One more thing, as the grantee announce date scheduled for 29 March, does that mean there is no way to know before if the proposal got approved. Because It would be easy for us to prepare if we got to know 2-3 weeks before. We could even save few bucks booking tickets early and all. You know what I mean. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 22:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
If we have an answer before the end of March we'll announce it sooner. But I wouldn't count on it. Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Online outreach edit

Hi. I understand that this proposal focuses mainly on offline outreach, but I wonder whether did you consider running online contribution campaigns similar to Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project? As mentioned above, the offline outreach efforts have been rather costly and inefficient in recruiting new editors, and perhaps considering online outreach might be more feasible in particular for small Wiki projects such as Oriya Wikipedia. --Haithams (talk) 22:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Haithams, thanks for your suggestion. Spent some time knowing the campaign, even saw the help page portal. But having the number of new users coming to Odia Wikipedia, I don't think this'd be helpful. bn.wikipedia has 42k registered users, and we have 4k registered users. This could be the next step if required. Still if you think "Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project" could work, please reply. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 01:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hello Haitham and Ansuman. Here most of people don't know that wikipedia exist in their language and even they don't know that it is being edited by common men. So I think offline outreach program is much better than online.--Shiti (talk) 20:56, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, I guess I can see your point there. Still, it might worth trying both online and offline campaigns and compare their outcome. Online campaigns usually requires less efforts and resources, and if done properly they result in recruiting significant number of editors compared to offline outreach. Personally, I would be interested to see which approach is more effective in the case of a small Wikipedia such as Oriya. --Haithams (talk) 19:21, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi, as I have already mentioned I 'd be doing online campaigns, but I hadn't thought of doing it like SWEEP! Trying this with offline campaign sounds nice, if it is possible. How much time and what resources we need to setup Help page portal? And I'd like to know what and how others think about this. Thanks :) -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 19:45, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I like the idea of testing a combination approach of on and offline methods, that might help you learn where your time is best spent, which strategies really do increase editing activity for small wikis, etc. But having 10 things on your list of activities for this project may be too much to accomplish and wonder if you might want to choose just a couple of things to focus on for a 6 month experiment. Tanvir spent his 6 month fellowship working on just the help page campaigns for SWEEP, to give you an idea of the time commitment that even 1 activity can take to do well. Could there be 1 online approach and 1 offline approach that you might combine into a relatively straightforward test of what kind of outreach works best for a community of this size? Can you leave out somethings that are not entirely necessary (education program? that seems like a big task, isn't it?), for later projects to pursue? Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:56, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I think this is a good idea of taking one approach for both online and offline, I will think about it and thin out few tasks. I had included Education Program because the last one happened in Odisha had no proper followup and I don't consider we got anything in the sense of on-wiki contributions. So I thought I could be a help if there is any such program in Odisha during that time. But I don't focus there. -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 06:20, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, interested to see what you decide along these lines! I do see your point about the Education Program, but it does seem like something that may stretch your attention a bit thin with perhaps little to gain in return. Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:56, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi, I made some changes, please have a look and let me know what you think? I am not sure what you mean! :)-- ɑηsuмaη «T» 19:11, 26 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Comments and questions edit

Thanks for your proposal, but I share a lot of Siko's concerns that she stated above. I am very skeptical that this is a cost-effective approach to recruit new Wikipedians, both in terms of monetary cost and in terms of time cost.

Also, I have some questions about your proposed expenses.

Can you explain why you would need a $400 camera? There are plenty of decent cameras for far less money than that.

Can you explain in greater detail what the $4000 in project management costs will pay for? I doubt that anywhere near $4000 would be required to rent a hall and a projector.

Thanks, --Pine 20:33, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hey thanks for your concerns. I know for this, a cheaper camera 'd serve the purpose. But I thought, I could use it for good photography as well. We could change the budget, no problem! And the Project Management, besides those expenses my time includes in that. I hope this clears your doubt! -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 22:09, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Would do a final adjustments after knowing about the merchandise, if it could be provided. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 22:40, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I guess it's possible to justify spending $400 on a camera for this project if the camera was returned to WMF at the end of the project for use in future projects. But the fundamental problem that I see here is that this problem seems unlikely to be cost-effective. Even if the project management costs were $0 and no camera was requested I would still have concerns about the time and effort needed for this proposal. I think that the work done by India's CIS is more promising. I would encourage you to work with CIS outreach that would be applicable to Odia Wikipedia. It may be possible that your interest and knowledge can be integrated into work that CIS is doing that is more likely to succeed. --Pine 02:36, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Well, I guess I'd think the same if I were you :-). And, I don't see a way of doing this with CIS like IEG is offering. And I'd like to end this asap, if other committee members and staffs here think the same. Maybe IEG should consider putting this in the criteria, so it'd be clear to everybody and people don't get misleading. Thanks! -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 03:39, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi, I guess I'm not sure how we would put this as an IEG criteria. I'd be willing to support IEG expenses for a $5000 outreach effort if it seems reasonably likely that there will be dozens of new editors who register and remain active. Maybe Siko could comment on this. I think your outreach proposal is good in theory, but I think the history of similar outreach efforts is that they've been disappointing. However, I do hope that you'll talk with CIS about what they've done and see if there are ways that you could get involved with them or get some knowledge from them about methods that have been shown to be effective. All is not lost (: --Pine 04:52, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
If there is a local operation by wmf, then volunteers should approach them for the outreach instead. I think it makes sense in a way, and I hope wmf staffs will think about it :-). I'll talk to somebody in the a2k team, I know few of them well. Nothing is lost, just expecting more transparency. Thanks Pine. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 14:26, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I suggest we should leave eligibility out of this discussion. It is certainly an eligible project. Just because something is eligible doesn't mean it is necessarily an efficient use of funds though. I see Pine's point about the camera cost, I too would wonder what happens to the camera after the end of the grant, and if a $400 camera is necessary for this project's success. I'm less concerned about the project management costs, though. As I understand it, we would be funding Ansuman's time to organize the effort, and that is an acceptable use of IEG funds. The question remains though, is it a prudent use of IEG funds if the most we hope to gain is a handful of new Wikipedians. Or might those funds be better used to build systems to recruit volunteers that will continue after a project manager is no longer funded. I'm still not sure of the answer to this, and will be curious to see what others think. Finally, thank you Ansuman for being willing to engage is such hard discussions around your project - there are no easy answers and I appreciate that you are happy to debate these points to help improve all of our understanding of the potential here. We DO need to find strategies that work in small communities, and conversations like this are helpful to get closer to those strategies, I think. Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:09, 22 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

I as well wonder about what happens to the camera after the end of the grant? You guys please tell me and decide the suitable cost for this. I don't even know why we are discussing cost for a Camera now (too early to discuss on such issues, we could talk this out later if this got approved)!? When I buy such tool, I think how could I use for multiple purposes, that's that. Please no more discussion on this now!
On building systems, are you suggesting something similar to SWEEP? like building better help and guide pages. If we have a better solution, I'd go for it. But please don't surprise me in the last minute, if anybody knows better strategies which you think 'd work better in this stage, let's discuss it first. -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 06:47, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

I expect we should be discussing everything at this stage, including what cameras are for and what happens to them, and what strategies might be proven already :-) It will leave us with less details to work out if/when funding happens, which is ideal because we'll want to walk into a grant with some already shared agreement between WMF, the committee, and the grantee as a result of discussions like this. So thanks, again, for being willing to keep this conversation going! Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Okay, that's fine. Let me know if you need me to change anything further. :)-- ɑηsuмaη «T» 19:21, 26 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

As Pine pointed out, I'd like to know more about how the $4,000 would be spent during the project. According to an article I read, per capita income in Orissa a.k.a. Odisha, is below $700. Therefore, $4,000 should be worth much more than in other places like the U.S., and I can hardly imagine that the cost of renting a hall and presentation gadgets will be such high. Can you think of using public library, universities, or community centers if you the majority of the $4,000 will go to rental fees?--Tomo suzuki (talk) 17:12, 27 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

I am sorry, I find it irritating being asked again the same question. It's not that hard to imagine what is required for outreach. I wonder why there is no criteria for this? WMF should consider setting an amount for someone's time based on the work may be. Let's get reasonable. The article you mentioned was posted on 8th August 2011. And India's present per capita income is $1,703 and per capita income in Singapore is $54,008, does that mean WMF is ready to pay high amount to someone who is applying from Singapore?
You haven't gone through my proposal page properly. Because I clearly mentioned that, If I need to rent a hall, projector etc. Definitely I'd try to save money by using public places, colleges or similar places if available. I am well aware of that this is donation money, and we all got to spend it wisely.
From past six and half years I am staying out of Odisha, previously I was in Hyderabad and now in Bangalore. I have a job here, and I'd have to leave that if I go to Odisha for this. Why someone 'd leave a city and want to spend time in villages and towns. I am sorry again I find it inappropriate the way the questions are being asked. And I din't set the budget based on the 'per capita income'! And if the budget here is supposed to be based on 'per capita income' why I am not told so yet?!
I apologize if you find me rude, I am writing straight from my mind, not pretending to be nice. (Please note that, my replies here are as a proposer not committee member.) -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 21:07, 27 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
  • Thanks for the question. Came to know that, the part of the budget was confusing as Siko stated below. I am sorry for that, corrected now and as I said above I din't set the budget based on the "per capita income". Please let me know, if you still have any question. -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 04:58, 1 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ansuman, I completely understand that discussing personal finances is uncomfortable to do in public, and appreciate you being willing to be a pilot volunteer for this conversation. My thoughts are as follows:
  • We may indeed find that some personal finance conversations should be done in private, but I'm not quite sure we're there yet (you may certainly request we take this conversation into email instead, although in the end the total amount will still need to be published on-wiki in one way or another).
  • It may also indeed be a good idea in this program to look at either setting daily rates that we're willing to give to grantees to offset costs associated with their time, or other methods of determining what is fair for these costs in various countries. With fellowships, what we did was set a baseline amount, and multiply it by the World Bank's Purchasing Power Parity rate to adjust for local costs. In this round of IEG, we're still experimenting with the idea of how costs associated with a grantee's time can be handled, however, so I appreciate your patience as we try the most open-ended and transparent method for your case.
  • I think what is confusing us repeatedly about your proposal regarding the $4000 line item is that you note the amount is for project management but then explain the costs as "If we need to rent a hall, projector etc." This is confusing because things like halls and projector rentals are more likely venue expenses that you may wish to line-item separately from project management.
  • To my mind, funding you for project management means we're offsetting the costs associated with the time you would need to spend away from your current job while you work on this project, and any small unexpected costs that come up which you'd pay for from your own pocket, including internet or telecom or other daily expenses that you personally need to cover in order to have sufficient time available to lead this project. Those kinds of expenses do not need to be itemized and do indeed make sense to list as a lump sum for "project management".
  • So, it might make more sense to move budget items for venue rentals or projectors to another line item in your plan, and instead note under project management that these funds allow the project lead to take time away from their current work and/or relocate temporarily (and/or any other info you are willing to provide about how you came up with this number, although you are also welcome to send me additional information privately if you do not want to discuss something this sensitive on-wiki - this is something we can work through for the sake of individual grantmaking, I am sure, because it will be the rare and brave individual who is willing to expose much private information on a wiki like this).
Does this seem like a reasonable way forward? Hope these suggestions are useful. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 28 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. Sorry it was confusing. Made the correction and replied above again. Hope it helps. -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 04:58, 1 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

Location edit

It strikes me that an outreach revival project may be more sustainable if led by someone already residing in the location of the target community. I wonder if you've thought about this - can you talk a bit about why it makes good sense to fund a project led by someone who has to travel or relocate to the state in which this project plans to engage? Siko (WMF) (talk) 19:35, 1 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

Yes I thought about this, and this is one of the reason I approached Mrutyunjay to join me. He has a job, and he'd join me whenever is possible for him to get a leave. And as his job is shift based, he can adjust by exchanging their shifts with other colleague. Still he is afraid it may not possible to join me every time. But he is dedicated. I don't see anybody who can lead, Subhashish is with A2K; you might know this already that he contributes to Odia Wikipedia and also an Admin (he is also out of Odisha for almost same years). Or we can wait till we find someone in Odisha who can lead. I understand it's a concern, and I don't see how it makes good sense but I don't see any problem. Could you please be more specific if there is something you see that is not good? -- ɑηsuмaη «T» 10:53, 2 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
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