[WikiX-l] 10-Year Anniversary: Media Outreach
mpantages at wikimedia.org
Sat Dec 11 22:04:56 UTC 2010
Apologies at the top for the epic email! As you know, our 10th anniversary
is right around the corner. The milestone offers us an unprecedented
opportunity to channel the energy and positive international spotlight from
our celebration around what’s most important to the Wikimedia movement. In
reality, celebrating 10 years of Wikipedia has begun. Volunteers are now
poised to host scores of celebrations in all parts of the world – at least
two on every continent so far – and a handful of press have already covered
the pending milestone. Whether we proactively work with media to cover the
anniversary or not, we know it'll happen. What may not happen and what
matters most – the reason we need to be strategic in how we approach media
relations – is influencing how media cover this historic milestone. Even
more, beyond changing what people know about Wikipedia, the ultimate
birthday wish is influencing how they act (i.e. turning skeptics into
readers, readers into volunteers/editors, etc…). However without wider, more
informed appreciation first, we can't expect wider, more useful action in
the future. We want the world to get to know us as a people-driven movement,
appreciate what we’re doing and join us: this is our 10-year birthday wish.
As we discuss, almost daily, on the the Communications Committee list, there
are a number of challenges we face as movement communicators: 1) general
awareness regarding exactly what we are 2) a real understanding and
appreciation for the people-driven movement and the extended global impact
of our work 3) disambiguation from a number of other organizations and
To address this, we’ve drafted three core messages and a call to action that
everyone can remix and use however they like. All press will have their own
angle on our 10 year celebrations, but if we all work together to at least
incorporate three similar messages and the same call to action, the impact
of our global communications work will be much more effective. The draft
messages are below for your review.
We’ll be uploading a light communications tool kit to the
ten.wikipedia.orgsite so that all volunteers have access to the
materials as well. Phase
I has been uploaded. Over the next few weeks, we'll include a media
advisory, press release and other “how to” guides for volunteers. We'll send
another email once that information has been included.
If you have any questions or would like to help with the creation of the
tool kit, please let me know. And as always, if you have any feedback on
anything, please share.
Creative hooks to generate interest from various media outlets will vary, as
will stories and central focus; however, in each and every interview, global
volunteer spokespeople should return to the basic call to action and these
main messages at several points in the conversation.
Wikipedia is more than a Website: it’s a non-profit, volunteer-based,
advertising-free public service:
*Wikipedia is a public service created and maintained by people volunteering
their time for the betterment of the world.
*In order to maintain editorial independence, we do not allow advertising on
Wikipedia and generate revenue to keep the site and the movement going by
encouraging many individual donations.
*Wikipedia is truly the people’s encyclopedia: Hundreds of thousands of
volunteers created and maintain the site and hundreds or thousands of people
help pay for it to make sure it continues to be a free public service for
everyone in the world to use.
Everyday People Helping Everyday People:
*We’re a volunteer-led, mission-focused movement. Behind every article, word
and photo on Wikipedia are people working and giving their time because they
care about providing free information and knowledge to other people.
*Wikipedia is more than an encyclopedia; it’s a collective movement
committed to providing free information to people who need it.
*These people are doctors, lawyers, teachers, college students, your
13-year-old daughter or son, your grandmother or that person who held the
door open for you this morning. These people all have something in common:
they have information that they want to share because they care.
Increasing diversity of information and impacting information scarcity:
*Our commitment in the Global South is an example of how people writing this
encyclopedia are committed to changing the world for the better.
*As a mission-focused group of people, we’re fiercely committed to improving
information scarcity in parts of the world where good, quality information
in local languages is hard to find. In some parts of the world information
is accessible, even overwhelming, but in many parts of the world people are
starved for knowledge. In places where books are expensive and libraries few
and far between, or even nonexistent, Wikipedia is often one of the only
reliable, freely accessible resources available. But it’s still limited in
countries outside of the Global North and we need more help to change this.
*Our focus on the Global South and increasing our diversity of contributors
is to help make sure this isn’t an encyclopedia written by people in rich
countries for people in less fortunate countries, or rich people writing for
rich people, it’s about making sure we have participation from as many
people as we can, from all walks of life. We all know that the more diverse
our editors are the more comprehensive and rich our encyclopedias will be.
Call to Action: Our 10th Birthday Wish
*We have a birthday wish for our ten years: we want people to get involved
and contribute. We need you to contribute. Contribute with your time and
become an editor. If you absolutely can’t edit, donate. We can’t keep this
amazing resource going if we don’t have the continued support from as many
people as possible who are willing to share.
*This is just the beginning. Wikipedia is not complete; we have a long way
to go. Only about five percent of humanity use Wikipedia each month. There
are a number of articles that are missing. We need help filling in gaps of
information in all of our 270 languages.
*We have about 100,000 people contributing, and in general, they tend to be
younger, European, educated males. Our current volunteers are wonderful and
we admire them for all that they’ve done to keep this amazing free resource
going, but we need more people to join us. More women. More people from the
Global South. More older people. We all have something to contribute, and we
invite you to share what you know. We all know that the more diverse our
editors are the more comprehensive and rich our encyclopedias will be, so we
invite you to join us.
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