Grants talk:PEG/WM BE/Budget 2015 H1/Report

Active discussions

Hi DerekvG and the rest of the WMBE team. Thank you for this report. It's great to see the chapter is increasing its outreach efforts and building board capacity. It looks like the majority of activities in the first half of the year were focused on chapter planning, Wikimedia presentations, and a few workshops. We hope these efforts have lead to good potential projects and partnerships. We have a number of questions/comments on the report and look forward to your responses.

  1. For future reference, it is helpful if you include more details in the report. The Report of 1st semester and board meeting notes provide critical information for reviewing the report and it is difficult to have to navigate through a number of different pages and links to find all of the necessary information.
  2. Project Days: We understand that one project day was organized, with 15 participants instead of the planned two for ~50 participants. Can you provide more explanation on why the number of attendees was so much lower than expected and why WMBE did not organize another event? As this is the main way WMBE plans to gather project ideas from the community, it is helpful for us to understand how effective it was the first time and what changes will be made for the model in the future. How many of the proposed collaborations have been developed? It looks like you did two workshops with Mons 2015 in April -- are any more planned? Have you kept track of the workshop participants? We do expect to see project pages for each of the workshops and for WMBE to be tracking new users with Wikimetrics.
  3. Has the team documented any main take-aways or next steps from GLAMWiki?
  4. The Global Metrics table says that you've achieved "7 projects organized by WMBE". Can you please let us know what those projects were? We understand you are planning two longer-term projects -- WLA 2016 and the Flanders Field 2018 project with WMNL. What projects did WMBE organize in the last 6 months?
  5. The Lessons Learned section talks about "a number of new ideas on recruiting more off wiki volunteers to run the projects”. It would be great if you could share some of those new ideas and how you hope to implement them in the future.
  6. Besides the website, which has been delayed to later this year, what are the other avenues for communication are you using to contact members and potential members?
  7. For the Global Metrics, did you sign up an new editors during the workshops? Was any content created/improved in the last 6 months?
  8. Please respond to the Learning Pattern and Learning Question sections.
  9. Please hold on to the unspent funds until you submit your next grant request. We understand that request will be for September-December 2015, so should be submitted by August 1st. MADe (talk) 21:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks again for this report and all your efforts! Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:20, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

2. project days. The project days were a point of discussion during the approval of this grant. The WMF considered this too earlier in the development of our chapter ('spreading our resources too thinly'). We have to confirm their comments. During the event, 15 people were present, including a majority of new people and (I think) 4 organisations. As we are currently mainly struggling with resources ('project leads', volunteers, ...), we were not able to grasp the potential of the ideas that emerged during the project days, nor of the interesting contacts we made. I do not think it will be valuable to organise a similar event in the coming 6m.
6. avenues for communication. One of the three focus points of the H1 grant was 'outreach to our community', ie communications with our members, so this was a focus of our activities. Firstly we have the existing Mediawiki website where we can an agenda and were we also prepare the content for our future website. We felt it was necessary to set up a different website in order to also attract people without knowledge of wiki syntax. As most current members are familiar with MediaWiki, this is not directly a problem. We have our Twitter which we are currently using as main social network (not much happend on LinkedIn and FB). As president, together with Romaine, I took the lead in contacting the members on different occassions, using different tools: email, telephone call, messages on Wikipedia talk pages, messages in village pumps... At the moment the communication with our members is fragmented and ad hoc. We could have done better to structure and plan our communications with our members. This is planned for future months, including implementation of a montly newsletter system, the new website, invitation by postal mail of our members to the 2015 general assembly...MADe (talk) 21:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
1. Content of report. Ok, thanks for your feedback. We consistently made extensive reports after our board meetings. We will use this information for our future reporting to the WMF.
3. team documentation. Please clarify 'main take-aways', what do you mean with that (surely not McDo) MADe (talk)

Comment DerekvGEdit

  1. Community building :

Allow me to give some general comment about "community", it might clarify general context of our activity. In the comments to WLA2016 you asked about community endorsement, and my gut reaction had been : “what community...”, but i soon realised that was my sarcastic and cynical alter ego taking over. Does Wikimedia Belgium have or does it represent a "community" and if so what could be considered our community. Wikimedia Belgium is in a unique position there isn't (and will never be) anything that even remotely resembles a Be.Wikipedia.org or any other project, there is no such thing as "Belgian" language, in that respect we can be compared to Canada (English French) only multiplied. If you would overlay on a geographical map of Belgium with the Wikipedia projects by language it looks like the answer of our grant request: Wikimedia Belgium impacts wiki communities mainly located in the Dutch, French, German and English wiki-projects; and the communities of smaller Belgian dialects.


From which the Brabantian dialect project is missing.

We do not consider the Belgian on-wiki contributors in all those projects our (Wikimedia Belgium) prime community, we can at the very best consider it as the pool of potential community members, talking about community our current 42 members is the next best thing to act as the Wikimedia Belgium community. In future the off-wiki volunteers we are likely to train will be the Wikimedia Belgium community. If I compare this to the dutch WMNL who have 250 members, i consider our inital 42 members a pretty good result for the first year since our initiative did kick off.

As a matter of fact the kol zeiksnor guy, is not a member of our community (our members) neither is he part of the wikiprojects community. Within our community there was one member with a discordant voice who “acted in conjunction with kol.zeiksnor” however since he joined as a regular member and paid his membershipfee he has gone particularly silent...

Romaine usually refers to community as the on-wiki contributors : there is currently no such thing as a Belgian wikipedian (or wiki project) community, neither in the dutch, the french or the german wiki projects. Yes, there are some belgians active in those wikipedia projects as they are in the english but there is no such thing as a "belgian" community yet

Belgians are chased away from, pestered and bullied on every wikiproject which is not strictly their own ( liked the regional language wikiś are), so new belgian editors quickly disappear or face the music, often they disappear to the english wiki and they don't seek out other belgian wikipedains. The dutch wikipedia has been recently in the news for anti-belgian bias, user harrassment, gender harrassment and blatant disregard of all the usual community code of conduct (like AGF, NPOV, politeness, respect or friendly environment). Especially the “users with special rights” ( and a few former users with special rights) as they are called on the dutch wiki, are bullying rather than welcoming new users. As a matter of fact kol. Zeiksnore and his hundreds of alter-ego's is a victim of that bullying, but he has become a bully himself. I have chosen not to take a disruptive path but currently I'm in a wiki-vacation period, I do refuse to continue any of my article edits on NL, FR, EN wikipedia and on Commons and I have reduced my presence on Meta with more then 80 % due to persisting problems of harrassment by a "user with special rights" who abuses his privileges. that is not why my reporting was delayed , IT and connectivity problems have kept me the last weekes form being very active on GAC and submitting my report.

Building a community from the Belgians on the different language projects will be a very steep hurdle for our chapter to tackle, to recover any Belgian users and regain their trust after they have left dutch/french wiki in digust over the treatment they received, will be a formidable challenge that Maarten and the board members will have to face. I have chosen to focus on building a new community through education (wikiducation.be) through bringing the WEP to Belgium and set up pilots in educational institutions.

  1. Project Days: the project days are a way to get in touch with users that wish to plan / execute wiki-related activities. The initial turn out of 15 (rather then 25 ) was disappointing. We critically looked at this organisation and learned following lessonsː

̽* the project days are not a total waste of time and resources, the events can be a useful vehicle if organized once max twice a year in order to make sure we get in touch with the individuals whose initiatives are worthwhile and get their events in our planning, and make sure that the objectives are met and we/the organisers don't run into (financial) trouble over events or with the on wiki community beyond our control.

  • the number of attendees was much lower than expected for 2 reasons: our network of contacts didn't reach very far yet ( for instance we were not in touch with the art̟feminism initiative) and we hadn't publicly announced it very much.
  • WMBE did not organize another event because we want the project days to be the start of our annual planning cycle, actually during the project days we will try and gather project ideas from on-wiki and off-wiki volunteers, GLAM partners and Wikiducation-partners and coordinate the planning throughout the year. At another project day iniitative later we will try to open the project day to the public so that potential partners can present their projects to each other and to the public to inspire the community. We will have to experiment to understand how we can increase effectiveness for the partners, for the community and for ourselves (and indirectly the foundation). This was the first time and we will make changes to the model in the future. A suggestion that occured to me while making this response might be that the current ground work laid down by WLA towards the GlAMś, could bring more substance to our project days: i.e GLAM's recruiting volunteers to create a steady flow of articles, data and references and contributions form their collections instead of bulkdonations
  • from the current collaborations during the project days only Mons developped on the short term ( because our of planned activities) from this a further collaboration with Mundaneum might grow
  • We didn't keep track of the workshop participants, that insight has been acquired at Glamwiki and WMCon? your expectation in these matters (project pages and Wikimetrics) have only become apparent and understood later on.
  1. Has the team documented any main take-aways or next steps from GLAMWiki?

I did make a report [1] and btw I did also a report on WMCON [2]

  1. The Global Metrics table says that you've achieved "7 projects organized by WMBE". Can you please let us know what those projects were? We understand you are planning two longer-term projects -- WLA 2016 and the Flanders Field 2018 project with WMNL.

Everything is mentioned under outreach agenda

  1. The Lessons Learned section talks about "a number of new ideas on recruiting more off wiki volunteers to run the projects”. It would be great if you could share some of those new ideas and how you hope to implement them in the future.
  • Alleycat80's analysis in the WLA discussion about WMBE's volunteer resources is spot on, given the current resource there is Romaine, Maarten , Geert, Fernando and myslef, and a handfull of people outside the board we can rely on also we do get support form our ducth counterparts WMNL to help us out with any event. Of course we do try to secure some (human)resources from our partners but they are not under our control.
  • WMBE are working with the Art+feminism ladies to start educating some more volunteers by following up on the organisers volunteers and the participants of their planned editathons. My Wikiductaion pilots are conceived to generate their own off-wiki (campus) volunteers and long term editors, partly because the Wikiducation pilots will run for an academic year (september- june) and the lecturers, student-contributors and off-wiki volunteers get trained and follwed up over a period of several months and many of the will flow into the repeat of the pilots at their school. from a phase 1-pilot, the plan is to move to a braoder WMBE supported phase 2 pilot and the on to an autonomous phase where WMBE provides ad-hoc support and the school runs the volunteer program. Nevertheless I do sincerely hope to recruit volunteers for the other WMBE activities, because volunteering is - in belgium - part of the student culture, and the boy/girl-scouting mouvement which is very popular in Belgium.
  1. For the Global Metrics, did you sign up an new editors during the workshops? Was any content created/improved in the last 6 months?
  • yes there is a chicken-egg situation depending on what one sees as the goals foir WMBE. I think we (the board under the guidance of Maarten) are focused on building a community of off-wiki volunteers, our focus is defenitely NOT on the short term outcome and metrics of events and contests in terms of new editors, and contributions made. To be honest - and do not let this upset you - I couldn't care less, about such short term results, I see our events and organsiations as vehicules, as a means to the longer term end of building a community of trust and respect, of on-wiki contributors and off-wiki volunteers to run programs such as regular Wiki loves ... (whatever) organisations, editathons, wiki-cafés etc and build strong and enduring relations of confidence and trust with the GLAM partners, education and public/private institutions;


--DerekvG (talk) 11:27, 28 15:15, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Reallocation requestEdit

WM BE has submitted a request for reallocation of the remaining funds from this grant.

The reallocation request has been approved. Please use the € 3875 in unused funds from this grant to pay for expenses described in the reallocation request. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 00:09, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Return to "PEG/WM BE/Budget 2015 H1/Report" page.