Toni presenting the efforts made by Shared Knowledge
What was this session about?
By giving examples from Macedonia (Shared Knowledge) and Brazil (Wiki Educação Brasil) how to grow a Wikimedia user group. The main idea of the session is to show that you can do a lot being “just” a user group, for many projects you don’t necessarily to be a recognized Wikimedia chapter.
There are 112 affiliates to Wikimedia movement across the world. +60% of them are Users Groups. How to grow theses User Groups in order to have a sustainable Movement? This session aims at sharing the experience of both Brazil and Macedonia in order to underline best practices for User Groups and others local affiliates.
Showing how regional project can invigorate new affiliates
Understanding that Wikimedia involvement is social entrepreneurship and that It can solve social issues
Stimulating mentorship and skills sharing between older and news affiliates
Tony Ristovski (TR), Rodrigo Padula (RP), Juliana Monteiro (GM)
TR introduces Macedonia usergroup. Established as legal entity in 2014, recognised at usergroup in 2015. Around 30 members, two employees. Five programmes (Education, Community, GLAM, Science & Research)
Good: Documentation is important, local content creation, filling content gaps.
Bad: Limited human resources, lack of interest from partners, access to references.
Q:. Why did you establish a legal entity?
TR: More accountability, and we recommend this to others as it formalises people’s responsibilities.
Q: What has been the most successful strategy in finding new people?
TR: Communicating person to person. Targeting specific groups, hikers for instance.
Comment: Registering as a legal entity is important in terms of getting partners interested. Also banking services for example.
RP introduces Wiki Educação Brasil. Formed by teachers, researchers and wikimedians. Recognised in 2015 by Affcom. Plans are to possibly create a thematic organisation around Brazil.
Editathons were useful in creating understanding and promoting WP. Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth had several thousand users involved.
The Olympics and Paralympics also helped get several hundred editors. Used Pokemon Go, collected information about it and used that as a hook for talking to media about how it effected Wikipedia. Comms program has taken opportunities to do interviews about Wikidata/get more press coverage for activities. CCBWIKI also key to expanding activities/profile
JM introduces Wiki Educação Brasil’s GLAM work. Pilot project to upload and use some content from Museum of Immigration. Used to help improve the documentation of the museum itself. “Rio from above” a project to work with a personal archive of aerial photos, but also to create more aerial photos of places near Rio. Also working with Museum of Health, and potential plans to work with Museu do Futebol, UNIRIO, and Museus da Energia.
Q:. Some museums are “no photo inside”. What can we do?
TR: We had strict limitations, but we got content donations instead after approaching them.
Q: Approaching an organisation as a user group.
TR: Talking about other GLAM projects, such as the British Museum, helps open doors.
JM: Also tell them that this open access perspective can help improve their performance in other areas. Not just wiki articles. E.g Immigration is an interesting subject in Brazil, but the Museum of Immigration is not sharing its information in a way that it can reach the public.
Q: Why should I talk to you guys (“User Groups”), not random people.
RP: Because we’re official, because we can give you visibility others can’t.
TR: Convincing the first partner is hard, but it’s easier after.
Q: You mentioned you are working with a hostile environment to begin with
RP: Two user groups fighting for space in Brazil, and this affects on-wiki activity. This does not help with a collaborative approach. Working slowly to reduce friction.
Q: A problem in the Basque country we had was “What do we [as a partner] get?”.
A: Stats on image views, content created after a release, the citation of their works in articles.