Wikimedia Fellowships/Project Ideas/Local Community Fellow

I would like to propose a “Local Community Fellow” role; basically this would be an experiment in facilitating communications between the Foundation and the communities of all WMF projects in a given language (in this case, Italian[1]), thus boosting their interest and participation in an authentical Wikimedian experience. This will also help pulling down a major barrier such as language diversity or at least mitigating its negative impact. This is a draft, please feel free to improve it and add suggestions, or apply to become a Local Community Fellow yourself!

What a Local Community Fellow is and does:

  • a “fellow traveller”, an experienced Wikimedian who is not Wikipedia-centric but has a wide overall view of the Wikimedian world
  • the LCF has a deep knowledge of coordination sites such as Meta, Outreach and Strategy
  • the LCF lurks and cuts in on various mailing lists discussions, reads reports on Wikizine and The Signpost and follows the Wikiverse's goings-on also on external sites, such as social networks
  • the LCF will create a page (in a given language, possibly on Meta - a more articulated version of the current “Goings on” page) and update it daily with short reports and quick links[2]. It will be a news portal - something between the German “Kurier” and the Italian “Wikipediano” - about the most relevant and interesting pieces of news regarding the Foundation and its activities, mainly taken from its blog and other good Wikimedian sources
  • the LCF will write a weekly digest in the same language, delivering it to local Village Pumps (or more suitable pages if available), to single users' or wikiprojects' talkpages upon request or to local mailing lists
  • the LCF will report about key matters, the ones now distributed via Global message delivery, choosing the most appropriate places to do so, providing links to the sources or a translation draft, always with a neutral, non-biased announcement, potentially using also sitenotices if the community explicitly allows him/her and asking for permission before doing so every single time
  • the LCF will encourage
    • debates about relevant topics
    • participation in ongoing discussions on mailing lists
    • commenting on the Foundation's blog, Meta...,
    • taking surveys/polls
    • voting for candidates to steward or WMF board member roles
  • the LCF will launch a survey to monitor the current use of the multiple sources of information already available about and by the Wikimedia world
  • the LCF will spread awareness about the above mentioned sources and will get readers used to autonomously consult them and to further report/comment their findings
  • the LCF will help developing a true spirit of unity and increase participation in community life (becoming active translators, going to Wikimania, becoming a Trustee for WMF...), increasing the number of aware and trustworthy Wikimedians
  • the LCF might set up a localized version of the Question for Wikimedia? page and encourage its use
  • the LCF will welcome volunteers to help with some aspects of his/her activities and to build up a newsroom framework which might be used by another fellow or a team of volunteers in the future
  • the LCF will keep WMF constantly informed about his/her activities and findings providing statistics and reports.

What a Local Community Fellow is not and does not do:

  • the LCF will not act as a spokeperson, neither for WMF nor for the local community
  • the LCF is not a quick way to get the Foundation's attention or intervention about anything, although he/she will report any feedback about his/her position and activities
  • the LCF will not mediate in discussions and local or general controversies regarding articles or users, and will not use the work account to edit articles or for other volunteer activities
  • the LCF is not necessarily a professional translator
  • the LCF does not impose personal opinions on others and does not distort the usual consensus' dynamics in the community.

Why such a fellow can not be “just” a volunteer:

  • the LCF's activity should last at least a year, thus being a demanding, time-consuming task
  • volunteers now usually active on translations barely translate the most urgent messages
  • someone willing to undertake the task would be necessarily forced to neglect or abandon precious routine volunteer activities (writing, patrolling, uploading files...)
  • every “news project” we know of regularly suffers from a lack of constant contributors, even the ones run by teams.

Why a fellow should be an experienced Wikimedian:

  • being a Wikimedian guarantees positive reception by the communities, which recognize a familiar nickname, an uncontroversial, reliable user which one does not usually identifies as an “enemy”, thus avoiding unnecessary bitterness and conflicts.


  1. reports Italian to be spoken in a variety of countries beyond Italy, such as Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia.
  2. Summaries of highlights, job openings, tech news, official reports, fellowships, programs, fundraising updates, research, contests, GLAM, Outreach and Education activities, events concerning the various communities, calls to urgent tasks (translations and more), stats, surveys/polls/votes.



A lenghty rationale for my submission was included in the email for application.

Submitted by


--Elitre 16:47, 15 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]



This section is for endorsements by Wikimedia community volunteers. Please note that this is not a debate, vote, or poll, but is rather a space for volunteers to describe in detail why they think a project idea is of value. If you have concerns or questions rather than an endorsement to make, please use the idea Talk page. Endorsements by volunteers willing to work in collaboration with a fellowship recipient on a project are highly encouraged.

  1. We should introduce a new category in Wikimedia which is like administrators or bureaucrats that is a kind of messenger or reporter.
  2. The problem that is the basis of all I think is because the WMF doesn't entrust Wikimedia's Chapters with any project in experimentation for which the chapters don't feel a part of its common policy with 100% and feel reluctant to disclose its news.
  3. In general I support this proposal without changing anything on it.
  4. I feel that the proposal, if it is put ongoing, it can give a strong impulse of enthusiasm to many geolocated projects.  Raoli  01:02, 11 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]