tl;dr summary: I'm planning to run a survey about wikimeets in the near future. Do you have any comments/suggestions on the draft? See:
At a recent meetup, a Wikipedian who was new to wikimeets pointed out that the event had the air of a gentleman's club about it. Looking around at the high-back comfy chairs, the Victorian-era interior decorations, the pints of real ale, and the mostly-male (and regular) attendees, I couldn't really disagree with their assessment. This started me thinking: are there better venues and times to hold meetups, or better ways of advertising/inviting people to planned meetups? What would make them more open and inviting to new editors, or the many long-term editors that have never attended a meetup?
As an experiment to try to improve the attendance and advertising of wikimeets in the North of England, a few months ago I posted messages on the talk pages of previous wikimeet attendees about the last Leeds and Manchester wikimeets, and the Liverpool wikimeet coming up this weekend. There was, unexpectedly, a pretty good response, with a number of people signing up to attend the wikimeets. I'm not sure whether it was a direct consequence or not, but we had a long-term editor attend the last Manchester wikimeet who hadn't previously attended a wikimeet. I couldn't attend the last Leeds wikimeet: was anyone there and able to say whether it made a difference or not? I'm hoping that the irregular wikimeet attendees who have signed up for the Liverpool meetup will be there!
It also started a longer conversation with Iridescent , which led to the idea of having some sort of a UK-wide notifications list. During that conversation, I started drafting a survey of past and potential wikimeet attendees with the aim of getting some quantified and actionable answers about how to improve wikimeets, and also improve communication about wikimeets. The latest draft of the survey is at:
Amongst other things, the survey draft asks about how people get to wikimeets; when and where wikimeets should be held; what activities should take place at wikimeets; and how notifications about an upcoming meetup would ideally be circulated.
I'm hoping to run this survey soon, so if you are interested in improving the survey questions then please send me an email or post on the talk page before the end of the month! In particular, if you currently organise (or regularly attend) wikimeets, then I'd greatly appreciate your input/feedback about the survey questions before it goes live. Ideally the survey would be run in association with WMUK, but given the recent turmoil I'm not sure if this will be possible, so I'll run it myself unless WMUK expresses an interest in helping out with it!
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