[Wikimedia-l] Announcing Round 1 Individual Engagement Grantees

Siko Bouterse sbouterse at wikimedia.org
Fri Mar 29 21:24:02 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I’m happy to announce the first round of Individual Engagement
Grantees today! The Wikimedia Foundation makes a variety of types of
grants, many of which focus on groups and organizations. Individual
Engagement Grants exemplify our commitment to increase support to
individual contributors to Wikimedia projects, with a particular focus
on making online improvements. These grants will support 8 Wikimedians
working individually and in small teams for 6 months to complete
projects that benefit the Wikimedia movement, serve our mission, and
strengthen our communities.[1]

For this pilot round, which began in February 2013, Wikimedians
submitted over 50 ideas and drafts from around the world. WMF
grantmaking staff narrowed these down to 22 complete proposals meeting
the eligibility criteria for review.[2][3]

18 Wikimedians formed a volunteer committee, with participants from 12
countries and from Wikimedia projects in 14 languages. .[4] Committee
members reviewed each proposal carefully, scoring them against a
rubric of pre-defined selection criteria and making recommendations
based on available funding for this round.[5] WMF grantmaking staff
shared aggregated scores and comments back with the community, while
the committee continued its deliberations to finalize a recommendation
to WMF to fund 8 projects in total.

All eight projects have been approved for funding by the WMF. In
examining the recommendations, we were struck by how varied these
projects are in terms of grant size, project methodology and
engagement targets. A central aim of Individual Engagement Grants is
to foster innovation, with a particular focus on online impact. We
think that innovative ideas and the skills that various contributors
bring to Wikimedia projects can lead to better online environments for
everyone, and we hope to learn a lot from these grantees about how we
can support more of this across the movement.

The round 1 selected projects are:

“Build an effective method of publicity in PRChina,” led by Chinese
Wikipedian User:AddisWang, funded at $350.[6] Addis and a small team
of volunteers based in mainland China will be experimenting with
social media campaigns to grow awareness of Wikipedia in China.

“Reply Edits,” led by User:Jeph paul, funded at $500.[7] Jeph is
building a MediaWiki gadget that creates a visual playback of the edit
history of a Wikipedia article, allowing users to see an article’s
change over time.

“The Wikipedia Library,” funded at $7500 and “The Wikipedia
Adventure,” funded at $10,000, will both be led by User:Ocaasi.[8][9]
It is worth noting that we hadn’t anticipated a dual project situation
and don’t expect it to be a usual circumstance.  We’ve decided to fund
both ideas in this round, though, because IEGrants focus on funding
promising, feasible projects with good community support wherever we
find them. For the Wikipedia Library, Ocaasi will be building and
consolidating partnerships with reference providers donating access to
reliable sources for Wikipedia editors, and improving the systems for
managing these programs. The Wikipedia Adventure is an on-wiki game
that will be piloted on English Wikipedia using the Guided Tours
extension to determine whether this type of interactive learning is an
effective engagement strategy for new editors.

“Consolidate wikiArS to involve art schools,” led by Catalan
Wikimedian User:Dvdgmz, funded at 7810 Euros.[10] The WikiArS outreach
program builds partnerships with art and design schools to teach
students to create images for donation to Wikimedia Commons and use in
Wikipedia articles. This grant will support focused experimentation in
the existing Catalan program’s models that can allow the initiative to
scale and to be sustained as an international program.

“Elaborate Wikisource strategic vision,” led by Catalan Wikisource
User:Micru and Italian Wikisource User:Aubrey, funded at 10,000
Euros.[11] This project brings together the global Wikisource
community and other stakeholders to define a vision for the project’s
future. They’ll begin work on near-term goals that can be accomplished
by volunteers on-wiki, and investigate paths forward for longer term
improvements to Wikisource.

“MediaWiki data browser,” led by User:Yaron K, partially funded at
$15,000 in order to pilot the initial concept.[12] Yaron’s project
will create a framework to allow any user to easily generate apps or
websites to browse sets of structured data that exist on Wikipedia and
other projects running on MediaWiki.

Finally, we’ve provisionally approved an 8th project for funding --
“MediaWiki and Javanese script,” led by User:Bennylin, funded at $3000
-- provided that a couple of dependencies can be satisfied.[13] This
project will provide technical support using a “train-the-trainers”
model that teaches volunteers how to use Javanese script online,
facilitating the transcription of Javanese texts to projects like
Javanese Wikisource. The newly developed Universal Language Selector
extension for MediaWiki makes the use of this script online
increasingly possible. Because Benny’s project will rely on the
availability of this extension on all Javanese Wikimedia projects, the
start of this grant depends on the WMF Internationalization team’s
completing its scheduled deployment in coming months. We would also
like to see more discussion and input from other members of the
Javanese community demonstrating the potential of this project, and
will be working with Benny to figure out how to support those
conversations while we await the deploy.

The new grantees will begin work on their projects in the coming weeks
and they’ll be sharing progress and learnings with us all along the
way. Please visit their pages on Meta-Wiki for complete project
information and updates.[1]

Thanks to everyone who participated in this round!  We look forward to
seeing even more of your ideas and input in preparation for round 2,
which begins on August 1st.[14]

Warm regards,
Siko Bouterse, on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and the IEG committee

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG#ieg-engaging
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG#ieg-learn
[3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Committee/Workroom/Review/All
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Committee#ieg-members
[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Committee/Workroom/Review#review-rubric
[6] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Build_an_effective_method_of_publicity_in_PRChina
[7] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Replay_Edits
[8] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/The_Wikipedia_Library
[9] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/The_Wikipedia_Adventure
[10] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Consolidate_wikiArS_to_involve_art_schools
[11] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Elaborate_Wikisource_strategic_vision
[12] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/MediaWiki_data_browser
[13] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/MediaWiki_and_Javanese_script
[14] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab

Siko Bouterse
Head of Individual Engagement Grants
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
sbouterse at wikimedia.org

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