Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Reports/GLAM Macedonia UG Youth Salon
Date and locationEdit
- Mario Stamenkoski
- Damjan Dojcinovski
- Damjan Petreski
- Ina pet
- Dona zabaznovski
- Evgenij Anushev
- Simona Trajkoska
- Kalan Wiki2
- Kalan Wiki
- Fcb king
Besides the main participants, during the Youth Strategy Salon, the following adult experiences Wikipedians took part in, as follows:
Skopje Youth Strategy Salon was the first salon of this type organized in Skopje, and second salon organized by GLAM Macedonia. As it was the case with the Strategy Salon organized in the mid of the summer, Skopje was for the first time a host city for a Youth Strategy Salon. This strategy salon was held on September 10th at Porta Macedonia, located at the Macedonia Square in Skopje, Macedonia. The event took place within three-hour time period, that is, from 1 pm to 4 pm CET. The participants were students form more than 10 different schools, and all members of Wiki Clubs, and five senior Wikipedians and active GLAM Macedonia members who took part in the organization process as well. The students arrived at the Porta Macedonia, a space provided by the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle and the coordinator Daniela Mitevska. The event started at 1 pm sharp by projecting a video clip, a recommendation by Toolkit. The students had an opportunity to see a short presentation of the basic ideas of the Wikimedia Strategy and the senior GLAM Macedonia activists provided appropriate translation of the video. A formal introduction of the participants followed the video presentation, where the students emphasised the Wiki CLub they are active in, basic personal data and the school they come from. Snezana Strkovska, the president of GLAM Macedonia, gave an introduction speech and warm welcome to all participants and activist. She introduced the students with the basic concepts and objectives of the Salon. The other senior Wikipedians also formally introduced themselves in front of the students and informed the students that about the help they can expect from the seniors. The next activity of the Salon was brainstorming activities on the experience and expectations related to the enrichment of activities, expanding the scope of work of activities in terms of Wikimedia projects and goals and proposals for future possible undertakings. Besides that, the participants were required to share with the others some positive experiences and knowledge they have acquired while being engaged into Wikimedia-related projects and activities. This was followed by dividing the students into smaller groups. The groups were asked to talk on given questions related to the Wikimedia Strategy. Moreover, the students were asked to write down the ideas they have come up with and their vision of future growth of the movement. As soon as the activity was over and all comments, answers, suggestions and proposals were collected, the participants had the opportunity to take part in a food and refreshment event.
Summary of the discussion pointsEdit
- Community Health
Community health is among the most important factors for productive and effective collaboration. Various different factors contribute to the ineffectiveness of the community and that directly affects the productivity of the community and the projects that has been working on. Bad conduct, bad behaviour, insufficient collaboration and self-centred behaviour affect all community members and activists.
- 1. How to make our community safer and more welcoming place for everyone?
- The participants views on this discussion topic were very useful and realistic. While it is not a simple thing to accomplish, in order to avoid such bad working environment, the community should avoid nationalistic and ethnic barriers, that is, creating a friendly environment for people of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. In addition to that, the participants emphasize the need of including people with different disabilities, sex, race and ethnicity in order to show to the larger community that everyone is welcomed to express their creativity and contribute with their efforts for the Wikimedia Movement. Besides these general ideas, the students, that is the participants, gave more detailed examples of how to improve the ties among the community members: educating students about diversity during Wiki Camps and Wiki Clubs, helping new members and editors, accepting the fact that all new members cannot be experts in editing, providing conditions for editing for those members who have no access to modern technology, valuing volunteers' efforts and sharing successful Wikipedians' stories with the community.
- 2. What are the things within your community or project that create barriers to involvement for you or for other people due to personal identity?
- This topic of discussion motivated students to reflect their own personal problems or obstacles for occasional skipping of editing on Wikipedia. Most of the students agree that they cannot edit for longer periods during the day due to personal engagements, which include hobbies, language and science courses, school obligations and homework. The lack of time sometimes stops them from editing on Wikipedia for a longer period of time. Another group of students point out the occasional self-derived demotivation, which lasts for short period. One group of students point out the physical distance between the members and lack of regular transport lines so they can edit as a group. This leaves the students working alone instead of as a group, which they find it more convenient and more productive. Nevertheless, the participants agree that when the love for editing and improving Wikipedia is great, all obstacles can be overcame, at least to some degree.
- 3. Who should be responsible for taking action against bad behaviour?
- When discussing this topic, students had in mind editing on Wikipedia, whether that is individual editing or editing in groups. Bad behaviour can imply many things: from arguments to vandalism of pages, so it would be hard to pin down what kind behaviour is deserving of what punishment and who should be able to dictate all of it, especially when good intention comes into mind. Most of the students think that the person(s) responsible for taking actions against bad behaviour online is the administrator(s). He or she is the person who can stop harmful editing, bad conduct of the users and spreading negative energy among the wider community. Besides that, the students think that the moderators in charge of projects are also responsible for securing friendly working environment and eliminating bad behaviour and its negative effects. There is also need for establishing firm behaviour codex that will be followed, with given measures against bad behaviour. Among the detailed proposals for this topic were having a person in charge who will work with this problems and even eliminating the person with bad behaviour from group works. Nevertheless, the students are aware and they do agree that each individual that decided to work on Wikipedia articles and collaborate with other volunteers should pay special attention to his/ her own actions and his/ her own behaviour. For offline events, all groups agree that organizers are responsible for taking action against bad behaviour.
- 4. What prevents contributors from taking actions against bad behaviour?
- The students gave various different answers and ideas regarding this topic. They shared their ideas with the rest of the participants and almost everyone agreed with the expressed ideas. Some students said that if other group members support them, there is nothing that will stop them in confronting the person with bad behaviour. Another group of students said that they cannot do anything special to the person with bad behaviour since they are not administrators and do not have the tools for taking measures. The lack of power an individual has in comparison to a bigger group in discussion, is one of the reasons the students avoid to take an action. However, another group of students said that they will report bad behaviour to the administrators so, admins can react. Some of the students also pointed out that there should be more tolerance to new users and pin pointing of their mistakes, so they can improve their writing skills. Deleting articles without notifying the students what the mistake they made, can be frustrating.
- 5. What else do you suggest to improve overall community health in the Wikimedia community?
- Regarding this discussion topic, the student emphasize the importance of good communication and interaction between the volunteers and activists. Besides that, the students express their view of the importance of Wiki Camps and their impact over the students and students' friendly behaviour, as well as the importance of having more Wiki Camps and Wiki Clubs across the country. Some of the students also pin point the importance of having self-criticism and following the ethical principals of friendly group collaboration. Exchange of experiences and knowledge and having more group editing days affect the community and its members' behaviour in a positive way. In addition to that, having motivation for more active editing and support of the volunteers contributes significantly to the community's overall behaviour and productivity.
The goal of these discussion topics, or questions, is coming up with ideas how to include people of different ethnic, sex, age and intellectual backgrounds, as well as including people in Wikimedia-related activities from different geographical areas of the country. The principal goal of Wikimedia Movement and GLAM Macedonia is providing a welcoming space for creativity and productivity.
- 1. Can we establish that every community must have a code of conduct which provides for inclusion of diversity?
- The participants gave various different ideas and proposals on the given topic. Some of the groups emphasized the need of having more Wiki Camps, Wiki Clubs and events of this type (Salons) where different people will collaborate together, have fun and strengthen the ties between the community members. Therefore, with the organization of such events the level of motivation will be higher. In addition to that, other participants expressed the need of having more online and offline editing competitions with various different awards so the motivation and the competitive spirit of the students will be increased. In order to achieve the goals and attracting more participants, there is need of having varieties of topics for students of different age and interests. Inviting participants in the activities from different communities was also appreciated. The diversity of the community and the interest of the participants can be increased by providing small awards on monthly level and giving efforts for penetration of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects deeper in the social life of the country. It’s hard for newbies to join a new community if one feel one’d be alone there, that's why sometimes we have to have patience rather than action.
- 2. Do those who are learning understand the content presented in and our projects and is the knowledge available in their learning language or platforms? Is it even attractive for their learning process and reading-terminals?
- Regarding this discussion topic, the groups and their members share one idea: having more visual and graphic representation of the topic discussed in the articles themselves. Most of the students agree that they actually use Wikipedia for finding more pieces of information related to the school learning topics. They also add that they more often search the Internet, thus Wikipedia, instead of studying just from the textbooks. They furthermore add that textbooks do not have a lot of data or information regarding the topic that has been studied and the need for additional search is required. When Wikipedia is concerned, they add that there are articles that are written well and they do contain visual (videos) or graphic (images) representations. When reading the articles, depending on the student and his/ her knowledge, the article may not be understood clearly. Therefore, having visual and graphic elements is a very useful and wonderful way of analyzing and understanding the topic. The students also point out that Wikipedia articles need more videos and visual representations of the topic for better understanding and learning.
- 3. As volunteering is essential a role for the privileged, should Wikimedia Foundation start giving monetary incentives and honorarium to people who volunteer a huge amount of their time to movement activities?
- Regarding the last discussion topic, the groups and participants gave relatively unified answers and ideas. The general idea and fact they pointed out was that volunteers can be paid for their efforts only if he/ she really works hard. The students fear that without certain criteria there will be conflict of interests among the volunteers and abuse of the funds. Therefore, having criteria and real outcome of the work deserves a certain compensation. Now, regarding the compensation itself, the students came up with various different ideas. Some of them think that hard-working volunteers should get honorarium for their efforts and time. Other students think that instead of giving money, the volunteers should be stimulated and rewarded with certain Wikimania trips or other similar things. Another group of students think that volunteers should not get money for their work, since it is against the volunteerism principles, but they do have to have their expenses covered. Nevertheless, all students think that additional stimulation to all volunteers is welcomed in order to increase the motivation and the creative productivity of the volunteers of the community.
Reflections from participants or partnersEdit
Participants' feedback on the Salon was excellent. The students found the event very useful particularly because they had an opportunity to contribute directly to the development of strategy of the movement. They were very pleased that their ideas and proposals and views on the strategy process of the movement are taken into consideration. They were actively involved in the activity planning and growth of the organization. Besides that, the participants were extremely happy to meet some of the most active students from the Wiki Clubs and other young Wikipedians. The fun they had was evident and the positive mood that prevailed the salon was obvious. Since the salon was attended by more students than the initially planned number of students (30 planned, 33 participates coming from 4 Wiki Clubs), speaks for the students' interests in taking part of activities related to Wikimedia movement and project.
- In media:
- Report published in our web site