Many thanks for your comments. My responses below
Wikimedia Foundation India Programs
On May 1, 2011, at 3:11 PM, Vickram Crishna wrote:
On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Hisham Mundol <hmundol(a)wikimedia.org> 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
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 think both could work. Personally, I think "campus ambassador" is a slightly
less formal term than "Knowledge Facilitator" but that's just my opinion.
...As we've already announced the term Campus Ambassador for the campus program,
I'd suggest we remain with it. THere are multiple other roles that people can play
(student clubs, etc.) and I'm sure we will have appropriate titles for these.
i) they could form student clubs in their respective educational establishments
ii) they could form Wikipedia clubs in their workplaces/social groups (as a number of
applicants are working professionals, and no longer on campus)
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 school system.
Agree with you and that's what I tried to bring out for those towns where
wiki academies aren't planned. However, you've articulated it far better than
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.
Could not agree more with you. Needless to say, this is dependent on available
community time but it's certainly a powerful idea.
Apologies for the delay; I thought I had replied earlier but just noticed this in my
Fool On The Hill
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