Submissions/Wikimedia storytelling: how we show the movement to the world.

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Wikimedia storytelling: how we show the movement to the world
Type of submission
panel (Matthew Roth, Victor Grigas, Tilman Bayer, User:The_ed17)
Author of the submission
Matthew Roth
Country of origin
United States
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
Matthew (WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
We will look at several ways the Wikimedia Foundation and the contributor communities share stories with the world. The focus will be on three categories: 1) the Storyteller project that the Wikimedia Foundation established in the 2011 annual fundraiser and expanded in the 2012 fundraiser; 2) the Wikimedia blog, with particular focus on the editor profiles and multilingual content; and 3) other community-based outlets for sharing information about the work of the Wikimedia movement.
Detailed proposal

One of the continuing communication challenges about Wikimedia projects is that despite the general public’s extensive familiarity with Wikipedia, awareness remains low for the community and individuals that have created it.

As part of the 2011 Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser, three staff members (Storytellers) interviewed hundreds of Wikimedia project contributors and used some of the interviews as part of the annual fundraising drive. In 2012, the Storytelling project expanded its use of video interviews, as well as the standard interview format from the previous year. Over 300 people were interviewed in total and a portion of those interviews were used to profile editors and share their experiences with the world. Those editor profiles have been used across a spectrum of media, including the 2012 Fundraiser Thank You All campaign [1] and in a series of videos [2].

Inspired by the Storytelling project, the Wikimedia Foundation communications team has greatly expanded the number of editor profile posts [3]. In addition to the general profiles, we have featured short interviews with Wikimedia Commons photographers who have had images featured as the Picture of the Day, with a spotlight on their excellent work and their motivation to contribute that work freely to Commons and with the world [4]. Across the world, Wikimedia editors and Wikimedia chapter members have been inspired to contribute editor profiles and in-depth interviews with Wikimedia contributors. What’s even more gratifying, they are doing so in a variety of languages so that the content can be read by a wider audience.

Beyond focusing on individual editors, the Wikimedia blog has also begun to explore the vast potential of opportunities to raise public understanding of how the community does its work, for example by featuring reports describing the work of Wikiprojects in specific subject areas, showcasing research or incidents that highlight Wikipedia’s culture of neutral point of view and verifiability, or turning the spotlight on specific user groups such as the volunteer response team (OTRS) or the Ombudsmen commission.

In this presentation, we will look at the various ways in which the Wikimedia Foundation and movement partners have begun to showcase the work of the community that gives so much time and energy to improving the projects. We will discuss how the redesign of the Wikimedia blog will create an even more inviting and open platform for Wikimedia contributors to participate in telling their stories and report on the important Wikimedia activities in their areas. We will also look at how the formal Storytelling project is featuring more stories from users and readers of the Wikimedia projects beyond the editor community. We will also discuss expanding the use of translations to expand the reach beyond the English-language audience.

Finally, we will use this presentation to discuss how more people can get involved and share their stories with the wider world across the many platforms available to them.

  • Analysis and Public Engagement
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes (if more time is available, then 45 minutes)
Language of presentation/talk
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  1. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 04:31, 1 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:54, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Atropine (talk) 14:02, 10 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Mitchan14 (talk)
  5. Sophie 12:45, 13 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Michael Jahn WMDE (talk) 17:57, 22 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --Jduranboger (talk) 01:54, 31 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 23:23, 31 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Manuel (WMDE) (talk) 08:13, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Jensbest (talk) 00:17, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]