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Submissions/The Potential of Micro-Outreach

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
The Potential of Micro-Outreach
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Country of origin
I'm a member of WMUK
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog

As Wikipedia's cultural influence grows, the number of active editors has diminished to a dedicated plateau. And whilst outside the public's view, Wikimedia continues to curate and collect important historical works, how can we engage with the public, to empower both dedicated Wikipedians and attract new editors?

Detailed proposal

As Wikipedia's editor base has declined to a steady plateau, the amount of generated content has threatened to do the same. Some of this is to be expected as information gathered must remain within the realms of encyclopedic content.

But there has been a steady and furvent effort to collaborate with institutions with what I call 'Macro-Outreach'. What started with a dedicated Wikipedian working with a specific institution, has become a network of Wikimedia-sponsored events, jobs and partnerships on a scale that simply isn't conducive to wider community engagement.

Then there are the sub-macro outreach events - edit-a-thons and backstage passes. Though on first glance these appear to be more public-oriented events, in the overwhelming majority of cases you can only define 'public' as existing Wikipedians or experts within a specific institution.

Edit-a-thons, backstage passes, GLAMCamps - all are advertised on-wikis, signed up for on-wikis - or else advertised to experts in the institutions themselves. As these projects can only be created and sustained by larger Wikimedia institutions, the lack of outside advertising seems to make sense.

My proposal of micro-outreach takes this down to a miniscule scale. I propose that the spirit of anyone can edit, combined with Being Bold', should translate outside of the home and into communities. This can be reaching out to other Wikipedians, creating your own 'Wikimeets' and as such a local network, or reaching out to other hobbyists or community centres.

Outreach at the individual scale also gives editors the advantage of being able to ask instead of offer. If an editor explains to a small group how they can edit, and why it's worthwhile, the new editor can decide which path to take, and not be confined to a single subject or task.

As an individual, you are also free to explore Wikipedia as it is meant to be. Wikimedia projects, though invaluable, focus on information any written encyclopedia would be proud to have. Editors in their own right, whether a single person or a small group, can explore and enjoy the information written encyclopedias could never contain. This brings editors closer to the readership, and would be a lot of fun too!

Any editor, can make any difference, anywhere. Let's start now.

  • Cultural and Educational Outreach
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I can't afford to attend Wikimania, regardless of whether or not my submission is accepted, please see special requests below.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
If there is any way that this presentation can be either recorded in advance or done by video-link that would be great! And also mean I could do it.

Interested attendees

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  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 00:42, 30 April 2013 (UTC) I have been thinking along the same lines and would be willing to help with your remote presentation[reply]
  2. Djembayz (talk) 14:04, 7 May 2013 (UTC) Same here. Getting some tips and ideas online for small get-togethers, like Siko Bouterse's Wikipedia editing parties would be useful.[reply]
  3. Add your username here.