On Sun, May 1, 2011 at 3:11 PM, Vickram Crishna <vvcrishna(a)radiophony.com>wrote;wrote:
On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Hisham Mundol <hmundol(a)wikimedia.org>wrote;wrote:
Hi All (cross-posting to make sure I reach as
much of India as possible),
As you're aware, we had invited applications for Campus Ambassadors for
the upcoming Pune Pilot of the India Campus Program.
The response has been fantastic: we've received ~500
applications/enquiries from across India, ~70 of which were from Pune. This
has been really heartening - indicating the desire of many to support the
Wikimedia movement. It's also been overwhelming because we need to process
all the applications, respond to applicants, etc.!
I think, most critically, it also presents an
amazing opportunity for us
to introduce new people to Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia) - and
invite them to join the community. I've interviewed quite a few and there
is a recurring theme I hear from many of them. It goes something like,
"I've been using Wikipedia for years and years, and I love it. I want to
contribute back to it - but I wasn't sure how. Then I saw the banner and
decided this was a great way to help." The overwhelming common trait I have
noticed in the applicants is that they are bright, well-intentioned and
eager to contribute.
I personally would like to see the nomenclature change: from 'campus
ambassadors' etc to 'Knowledge Facilitators', befitting by far two goals.
One is the democratisation of knowledge, core to this initiative, and the
other is the recognition of anyone of any age as a contributor (implicit in
Hisham's characterisation of 'no-one left behind').
I just wanted to provide a little background that others might not be aware
of, Hisham is not responsible for that nomenclature, its part of the
Wikimedia Public policy initiative. The Campus Ambassadors program has
been going on in the US, as part of the initiative since early last year
We can consider alternative designation within the Indian context once the
project is underway, however, I believe Wikipedia Campus Ambassador is an
aptly descriptive term that provides near universal recognition and
association with Wikipedia, other terms might be too abstract in this
i) they could form student clubs in their respective educational
ii) they could form Wikipedia clubs in their workplaces/social groups
(as a number of applicants are working professionals, and no longer on
iii) they could become individual editors
Each community, be it one based on educational establishments or any other,
could organise informal camps, which we could call wikiups, implying a
quickly put together 'camp', where a tiny group, 3 or 4 persons, could
collaborate on original contributions or editing. If such meetings could be
held on a weekly basis, then perhaps they could alternate between writing
and editing, to give each skill a good workout. I am emphasising the
importance of working in groups as a way forward from a concern expressed
some months back in our meeting in Mumbai, that many youngsters need a
helping hand to overcome the fear of failure - that translates into a
reluctance to take part - that is unfortunately instilled in much of our
Frequent regular meetings would also help build an
impetus to attend some
of the additional work-focused suggestions, attending an 'Academy' session
or running 'incubation' programs. It would also lessen the disadvantage of
not being able to make it to some infrequently held local Wiki-meetups. It
also lends itself to the ease of adding a visiting 'trainer' who can create
lively sessions of tips and tricks.
I believe this is exactly what the student clubs facilitate.