Thanks to Anirudh for nudging me out my long reverie, shortly to be
Congrats on a great outreach & a good report. In the debate of
reaching out to newbies versus preserving the scarce effort of
volunteers, there is no universal side to the issue. Where
participants are generally keen, reaching out to newbies may pay off,
but in many cases, people just come to learn something new and not
take up new pastimes. I suppose it will be a judgement call to make.
I'm sure listening now. What kind of help and guidance are you looking
for? What ideas do you wish to implement? If they are English
Wikipedia specific, you may like to shift the discussion over there,
else continue this thread here. Eager to know more.
On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 12:31 AM, Konarak Ratnakar <konarak.11(a)live.com> wrote:
Sorry sorry, "Haste makes waste" this
Date: Tue, 1 May 2012 00:28:02 +0530
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] <wikipedia-gu(a)lists.wikimedia.org>rg>,
There have been numerous outreach sessions organized all across India, so we
decided to organize a WikiWorkshop of our own in Ahmedabad. :)
We decided on the Electronics and Communication Engineering department at LD
Engineering College as the venue a couple of weeks earlier. This was mainly
because Harsh was confident that we would be able to obtain all the
permissions to use a classroom in time. The date was pretty convenient since
it was a state-wide holiday due to Parshuram Jayanti.
We had also invited Hisham to be a part of the event during Office hours on
19 April 2012. Hisham accepted our invitation to fly in and help us conduct
the workshop. Nitika followed up with the presentations and offered to help
us with event planning. Arnav Sonara, a Gujarati and English Wikipedia
volunteer translated parts of Nitika’s presentation into the Gujarati
We received confirmation of participation from 42 students through a Google
Docs based sign up page created by me. This was very heartening and we
expected at least half of the students to actually turn up for the event. ;)
Hisham landed in Ahmedabad at 8.40am and was available at the venue around
9.30am. Anirudh and I joined in later. Hisham guided Harsh and I through the
presentation he was carrying so that Harsh could use them later for future
workshops in the city.
The time period before the scheduled time for the session was spent
discussing ideas with regard to the purpose and objectives of outreach.
Hisham opined that it is important to keep pursuing the newbies after they
attend outreach sessions and workshops, while Anirudh said that was probably
not the best use of scarce volunteer time, which could be better spent
contributing to the projects themselves, and helping those editors who
approach the veteran contributors on their own accord. We are interested in
learning from the follow-up work that the WMF India team has done with
regard to the programs it has run in the past and its direct success with
the recruitment of new editors. We hope this will start a useful
Seventeen people turned up for the workshop. This included Vyom Majmudar, a
veteran Gujarati Wikipedia and a frequent Wikisource editor and Karthik
Mistry, a Debian geek and FOSS advocate.
I commenced the session by introducing Hisham to the participants. Hisham
then began with his presentation. The agenda of this workshop was to
acquaint the participants basics of Wikipedia editing - five pillars,
notability guidelines, followed by a short editing session.
Hisham guided the participants through the first four pillars of Wikipedia
but did not speak about the fifth pillar ([[WP:IAR|There are no firm rules
on Wikipedia]]). He told me that it would be a bit too advanced for new
editors to understand, and then asked to explain it to the participants.
Anirudh also elaborated on the third pillar of Wikipedia
([[Wikipedia:Wikipedia is free content]]) that Wikipedia not only provides
content free of charge, but that the users of the website are free to edit,
use, modify and distribute the content. Free as in free beer, and free as
in free speech and free markets. :)
After the presentation was concluded, eleven people stayed back in the
workshop out of which five were completely new to editing. We edited both
the English and Gujarati Wikipedia projects. [[w:gu:User:Shaildve]] created
three stubs while being guided by Vyom. [[User:Chirayu.Chiripal]], who, by
the way, does not speak Gujarati, has started contributing to Gujarati
Wikipedia by making templates. \m/
The City Bhaskar covered the story on the workshop. Many thanks to
Noopur Raval for connecting us with the journalist.
Overall, we think there is scope for improvement in the way we present
Wikimedia projects to new users. Some of the topics we touched and
discussed such as notability guidelines, referencing and the five pillars
could have been presented in a more coherent manner. These are some of the
things we will be working on in the near future and would really like to
take help from more veteran Wikipedia editors to promote our projects in the
state of Gujarat. (Ashwin, are you listening? :P)
TL;DR: The Ahmedabad workshop was organized by Konarak Ratnakar and Harsh
Kothari on 24 April 2012. Seventeen participants attended the event.
Anirudh Bhati (Wikimedia India) and Hisham Mundol (WMF India Programs) were
also present. Hisham addressed the new users initially with a presentation,
and later the experienced contributors trained and answered the newbies. It
was great to have two veteran contributors like Vyom and Anirudh around, who
helped out greatly during the sessions. There is a lot of scope for
improvement in the quality of our outreach sessions and each and every one
of these events contributes to their constant improvement.
Konarak Ratnakar (with inputs from Anirudh Bhati)
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