On Feb 18, 2012, at 3:52 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan wrote:
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 17:12, Nitika
The following is a post I've put up on the India Program page on meta regarding
outreach (Please see:http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:India_Program/Outreach_Programs
Please do comment on the page itself; I'm posting it on this mailing list only to make
sure it doesn't slip your attention.
Bumping up to grab attention. I know there are many folks with years of outreach
experience on the list. Can you please comment on the talk page? (Or even here, I could do
the job of copypasting!) It is important to discuss, get perspectives / approaches towards
outreach right since we would spending a lot of time,energy, donor money on this and its
essential to design them well so we could make it effective and better.
Slightly related :-
Bumping right back to get attention since this is such an important topic. Here are 10
questions that we need answers for and the India Program team is grappling with
Do we know what is the right profile of audience for an outreach session? (tech or
non-tech / students or professionals / age group / language group?) We must avoid
shooting in the dark and that's the only way that the current conversion rate of
<0.1% (my guesstimate) can be come more reasonable.
How do we draw the right balance between giving them enough information during and
outreach session that the feel adequate to successfully edit but not too much that they
get intimidated and run off?
Can we make sure that ALL workshops are not theory sessions but that everyone has a
computer in front of them and can actually do very basic editing - like creating a user
name and making 5 edits, even if they are not particularly complex. Theory will get us
nowhere. This also has implications on the maximum number of attendees as well as our not
doing sessions where all we have a box to stand on and give random gyan.
What can we do to make sure we stay in touch with newbies post the session. We have to
figure out an efficient way of reaching out after the workshop because their heads will be
full of doubts once they actually start editing. Also, once they have been
"warmed-up" by the workshop, we must gently nudge them read up more and click on
How can we anticipate the inevitably teething up issues for newbies and proactively
address them - in the outreach and in the post-outreach contact. I'm wildly
generalising but I fear I might be right that we already know the typical problems
newbies. .First of all, they want to create brand new articles - instead of looking at
incremental improvements to existing articles. Secondly, especially on en-wp, they find
it difficult to figure out what topic to work on because "everything is covered
fully" - which we know is not the case. Thirdly, they stumble on notability, NPOV
and MoS. Fourthly, they find referencing tedious. Fifthly, some mess around and find
vandalism fun. Sixthly, something like notability isn't immediately clear to them
because one often approaches things with a insular frame of reference. Can we address
clinically address these in workshops?
How do use social networks effectively - but not get drowned in them. fb is a great way
of attracting users to workshops or photothons - but is a terrible place to discuss
policies. How do we get the right balance?
Specifically for Indic languages, how do we make sure that we have relatively less rigid
and comprehensive policies (which work for en-wp with tens of thousands of editors - but
is totally impractical when we have <50 editors which is the case for all but 3 Indic
Specifically for en-wp, how do we provide some kind of additional support on encyclopedic
writing in English - especially given that English is not a native language. Would having
newbie English editors from India as part of some kind of a group with experienced English
editors from India (who would therefore be intimately familiar with the linguistic
challenges) to support them make sense and is it practical? (While I write this, I am
also acutely aware that we can't right a lifetime's education of a newbie - but
can we make useful baby steps?)
Is there a way we can get existing editors who might not be confident of their public
speaking skills - but are great 1-on-1 - to adopt newbies and have mini workshops on an
individual basis? (I know this is inefficient - but it affords them a chance to
contribute in outreach as well and over time, I am confident that many will gain the
self-assurance to handle larger audiences.)
Lastly, and most certainly not the least, how do we measure the impact of every single
outreach session, analyse the reasons for success or otherwise? How do we disseminate
these learnings to the community?
Have posted these on the page Logic referred to
sounds like a fantastic session to attend!