On Feb 18, 2012, at 3:52 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan wrote:
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 17:12, Nitika <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
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 edit.
- 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 communities.)
- 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?