If you find yourself in the Washington DC area - monthly WikiSalons!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Hare <james.hare(a)wikidc.org>
Date: Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 1:37 PM
Subject: [wikimedia-dc-internal] Happy new year! Meetups in January
To: Wikimedia DC chapter mailing list <wikimedia-dc(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Happy New Year from Wikimedia DC!
I am pleased to announce that Wikimedia DC has a new schedule of standing
meetups: WikiSalons will be held on the second Wednesday of each month,
while dinner meetups will be held on the last Saturday of each month. This
schedule is in effect through December. We adopted this new standing
schedule to make planning events easier. We will also announce other events
throughout the year, including more edit-a-thons, so be sure to check the
schedule often! You can find the latest schedule on the DC meetup page on
Coming up in January we have two meetups: the WikiSalon
<http://www.meetup.com/Wikimedia-DC/events/219599139/> on *January 14 *at 7
PM and the dinner meetup at Vapiano
<http://www.meetup.com/Wikimedia-DC/events/219599203/> on *January 31* at 6
PM. We hope to see you at our events!
As usual, if you have any questions or request any special accommodations,
feel free to email info(a)wikimediadc.org and we will be happy to help.
President, Wikimedia DC
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Diverse and engaging consulting for your organization.
For completely un-Wikipedia related reasons, I happened to stumble upon a
website called "makers.com" - which appears to be a fairly large repository
of the video stories of women who are experiencing successes, ranging from
the extremely well known (e.g., Hilary Rodham Clinton) to Barbara Burns, a
woman coal miner who successfully sued her employer for sexual harassment,
with the case going all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The site is American-centric, but I suspect the videos would make for some
very good "reliable sources" for many articles, and perhaps motivate the
creation of several articles that don't currently exist.
Since this is the start of the new year, let me just shortly let you know (or remind you) about what one thing we've done in Sweden last year and a little about what we've learned.
We started in March in Gothenburg, the second largest city of Sweden, to hold weekly editathons. The topic was formally "female main characters" ("kvinnliga huvudpersoner"), but we essentially let people write about what they wanted, and tried to gently steer them towards literature and/or women. It could be female authors, or seminal works in womens' literature such as "The Mad Woman in the Attic". We welcomed people of all sexes.
Altogether we ran 35 editathons each running on a Tuesday from 13.00 onwards, editing in over 100 different articles, with about different 15 Wikipedians. The result was 11 articles reaching "recommended status" (ranking just below Good articles) with more on their way. (We of course want to improve on this for next year.) A full list of articles worked on, sorted on how far they've come can be found on our project page:
This initiative is one of the most publicised Wikipedia/Wikimedia events in Sweden during the year with two national radio interviews, two podcast interviews and several articles. There has been no negative reactions (which I am beginning to understand needs specifying) as far as I am aware of. We have presented this on flyers and on the large Book Fair in Gothenburg, and have started to get a very good reputation. We are hoping to see the same sort of regular editathon thing getting off the ground in other cities in Sweden during 2015.
So, what have we learned?
* we could not have done this but for a small group of dedicated people who showed up nearly every time. We were four persons (two female, two male). "All volunteers" led to very little bureaucracy during the editathons themselves and sometimes editathons running over by several hours. Making sure that the editathons didn't depend on any one person was an early priority.
* we had access to a free space with wifi and a kitchen. Each time, Wikimedia Sverige sponsored coffee/tea, sandwiches and fruit - and gingersnaps and other seasonal treats. Don't underestimate the power of "fika" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fika_%28coffee_break%29). All in all, the cost of all 35 editathons was around 240-250 USD.
* we have two lines of communication: both the project page, and our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/213852525478532/, where we could remind people to come and get them to invite others who aren't on Wikipedia yet. Personal invitations works much better in the long run - getting people to come back week after week.
* the topic was very well chosen. Many are interested in literature and the topic is underdeveloped on Wikipedia, so it's easy to explain the need to outsiders. But it has also been good to allow some leeway and not adhering strictly to any predetermined list of articles to edit. Sometimes interesting topics crop up in conversation or a bad article was discovered during fact checking and then we've encouraged people to edit that article.
* some people have wished for the editathons to be held on other days/other times. It may have contributed to the sometimes very low attendance rates. We've tried to taken that into account, and are thinking about how to manage regular weekend editathons. We are also considering ways to get the people most interested in going to those editathons to also run them (empowering them, in effect).
* there are always going to be a few people who only come one time, just to check what we're about. Especially after we put in weekly small ads (for free). We took turns doing the introduction and making sure they made a few edits, so that as many Wikipedians as possible had done it, and also to make sure that the Wikipedians themselves could have time to edit. That's also how we tried to do with the radio and pod cast interviews, to prevent any one person "the representative Wikipedian".
* you also shouldn't underestimate how much this is a way for stressed Wikipedians with normally very little time to edit Wikipedia to set aside time to do it.
Finally, just FYI. During the winter holiday, when the editathons had a few weeks off, demand for more meetings was so high that we organised a Hangout remote editathon session just to relieve our feelings of abstinence :-)
070 - 207 80 05
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Skriv som ett proffs - min senaste bok
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"Tänk dig en värld där varje människa på den här planeten får fri tillgång till världens samlade kunskap. Det är vårt mål."
Ms. Stierch's comments are exactly on target.
Do the GGTF-type organizing off wiki, not on-wiki. That's not the place for
Start your own message board akin to Wikipediocracy. Organize (and vent)
Use Facebook, etc.
Concentrate on developing new feminist editors, helping them through the
steep learning curve, with an emphasis on content, content, content. Nobody
is going to have a problem with that.
Carrite on WP /// Randy from Boise on WPO
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 14:25:33 -0800
From: Sarah Stierch <sarah.stierch(a)gmail.com>
My tips are:
1) No talk pages if I can avoid it
2) Other channels (sorry people, but not all revolutions can take place in
front of everyone)
3) Social media
I get more value asking for help on Twitter and Facebook than I do on any
ANd that's why the WikiWomen's Collaborative was created - social media
brings more females (since we use it more than males!).
Thank you, Heather! This is what we run into on the WP GGTF every time we
open something up for discussion.
All I wanted to discuss the possibility of such a group. Are there any
policies that would make it impossible? How would we determine who is a
woman? Could inclusion/exclusion be automated? What might the benefits of
such a group be? The liabilities? What would its scope be? It's goals?
Can we discuss this?
On Jan 1, 2015 5:30 PM, "Heather Walls" <hwalls(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Tim Davenport <shoehutch(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> I for one would immediately be running the project through the Miscellany
>> for Deletion process.
>> You don't see anything slightly wrong with this idea? Really?!?
>> This is 100% unadulterated identity politics.
> You say that as if identity politics is somehow inherently negative.
>> Tim Davenport
>> Carrite on WP /// Randy from Boise on WPO
>> Corvallis, OR
>> >>Is it simply impossible to start a Wikipedia project that's open to
>> or people who identify as women? (I'm sorry if I don't use the correct
>> terms, but I haven't kept up with them in recent years.)
>> >>I mean if we did it... what would the consequences be?
>> Gendergap mailing list
>> To manage your subscription preferences, including unsubscribing, please
> *Heather Walls*
> Communications Design Manager I Wikimedia Foundation
> 149 New Montgomery Street I San Francisco, CA 94105
> Gendergap mailing list
> To manage your subscription preferences, including unsubscribing, please
The problem of how to create a truly safe space is a tricky one. I
would like to relate two difference experiences, both more than 20
years ago but still cause me to reflect on how best to achieve it:
When I was an undergraduate fresher in a well known London college, I
was puzzled by the lack of a Gay Soc. It was the 1980s, still a
radical time, and I wanted to be out and proud and test my views with
other gay people. I eventually found out that only two years before,
the college rugby team had joined the gay soc en-mass and at its first
meeting of the year voted to disband the society. A despicable act,
which certainly serves as an example of why ensuring that members of a
community group that might experience hostile lobbying would want to
ensure those joining share the values and aims of the community. Sadly
the Gay Soc took several years to be re-created so it was not until I
was a postgrad at another University that I could take part in such a
My other experience was when working in a large bank. Based on the
success of establishing a women's professional network, we formed a
LGBT network which then pushed the organization on policy changes to
ensure greater equality. In theory we were open to anyone, however no
'straight' person ever did join. A feature of our 50-ish member group
was that we had many fun social events, the gay men in particular felt
free to swap gossip, stories of their sex lives and relationships, and
frank suggestions about London clubs and bars (a long time before
Grindr). To be honest, our conversation would not have been as fun or
social if anyone felt they had to mind their p's and q's.
I would understand why having a declared women only space would feel
like a much safer space for many women. Certainly it would be a freer
space, where blowing off a bit of steam, or talking through more
radical ideas which might be unacceptable in 'public', would not be an
issue. Being a man, I might be excluded, but I would support having
*both* open and controlled membership spaces, especially if
interesting discussions in the controlled space mostly get shared in
the open one. Having both solves different issues, and may be the only
way we have to side-step the sort of disruption seen in the last few
months; though I suggest that "control" is weak and not left entirely
to those with the normal Wikimedia project admin or Arbcom background
as methods of blocking, banning or moderation is not necessarily
helpful when attempting to embrace creative and at times difficult
P.S. Happy New Year everyone. :-D
I for one would immediately be running the project through the Miscellany
for Deletion process.
You don't see anything slightly wrong with this idea? Really?!?
This is 100% unadulterated identity politics.
Carrite on WP /// Randy from Boise on WPO
>>Is it simply impossible to start a Wikipedia project that's open to women,
or people who identify as women? (I'm sorry if I don't use the correct
terms, but I haven't kept up with them in recent years.)
>>I mean if we did it... what would the consequences be?