Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Introducing the Wikimedia Resource Center: A hub to help volunteers find the resources they need

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  • Introducing the Wikimedia Resource Center: A hub to help volunteers find the resources they need
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  • The Wikimedia universe is full of resources and guides to support contributors do their best work: from editing an article on Wikipedia, to reporting a bug and developing your own tool, there is a resource for almost any expertise developed in the movement. As the movement grows, however, and more communities join Wikimedia, the demand for these resources is higher, and the number of people who can point to them is decreasing. In order to expand Wikimedia communities’ efforts we need to guarantee open access to resources that support this very important work. The Wikimedia Resource Center is a hub designed in response to this issue: it is a single point of entry for Wikimedians all over the world to access the resources and staff support they need to develop new initiatives, and also expand existing ones.

BodyEdit

Wikimedia Resource Center: watch the demo

Wikimedia volunteers embrace a wide spectrum of work when it comes to contributing to Wikimedia projects: from reporting a bug, to developing a tool, to requesting a grant to start a new Wikimedia program, and more. As the movement expands to include more affiliates, and more programmatic activities every year, newer Wikimedians are faced with lack of experience in the movement and its various channels to request support.

 
Frequent questions in the Wikimedia movement.

The response to these questions will lead our new Wikimedian to different pages, from Outreach Wikimedia, to Meta Wikimedia, and MediaWiki.org, as well as connect them to experienced Wikimedians who may be able to help. In a recent user experience research, we learned that the majority of program leaders rely heavily on their personal network and personal contacts to find the information they need.

In order to expand Wikimedia communities’ efforts, however, we need to guarantee open access to resources that support this very important work. The Wikimedia Resource Center is a hub designed in response to this issue: it is a single point of entry for Wikimedians all over the world to access the resources and staff support they need to develop new initiatives, and also expand existing ones.

How does it work?Edit

 
Organizing and categorizing knowledge has helped people to learn and find information for centuries. Image by Fritz von Dardel, in the public domain.

In the Wikimedia Resource Center you will find resources grouped in nine different tabs, according to the goal the resources serve. Let’s imagine you wanted to start a new Wikimedia program. Under Skills Development tab, you will find evaluation tools, program reports and toolkits, and learning patterns, among other resources. Each tab has an introduction page that describes the area, what each resource means and who can give you direct support in any given topic. Skills Development, together with Grants Support, Programs Support, Product Development, Global Reach, Legal, and Communications, all have the same logic.

Contact and Questions, and Consultations Calendar are slightly different. Under Contact and Questions, you will find frequently asked questions that are searchable by topic. This tab also has a new feature: Ask a question. Wikimedians can use this feature to inquire Wikimedia Foundation staff about any topic that is not covered in the FAQ, and they can do so publicly through the Wikimedia Resource Center, or privately via email. Under Contact and Questions, Wikimedians will also find information about the Emergency response system, and in future developments, also a network of Wikimedians.

Consultations Calendar is a public schedule of upcoming collaborations between Wikimedia Foundation and communities. In this tab, you will also find Wikimedia Community News, that transcludes the content of calendar on Meta Wikimedia main page.

If you get lost, you can always find help on the top right corner on every page.

Help us test the Wikimedia Resource Center!Edit

 
Caption caption caption goes here. Image by Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M, under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

This release constitutes the alpha version of the Wikimedia Resource Center, and at this stage, user feedback is key to improve its functionality. We want to hear from you! If you have comments about the Wikimedia Resource Center, you can submit feedback publicly, on the Talk Page, or privately, via a survey hosted by a third party, that shouldn’t take you more than 4 minutes to complete.

We started small, only including resources developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, in order to be able to launch an initial version of the hub. In this way, we can learn what works and what needs to be developed further, to include features to better connect Wikimedians. Check the project’s progress on Meta by clicking here.

We hope that this hub will better support Wikimedians’ efforts all over the world, and improve findability of the resources that empower them to do their best work.


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María Cruz, Communications and Outreach Project Manager, Community Engagement