Survey finds French Wikipedians young, largely male and likely "information workers"
Wikimedia France has published the first results of a survey among "Wikipedians" (comprising both readers and editors of the French Wikipedia), conducted at the beginning of the year by Telecom Bretagne in partnership with the French chapter. It received more than 16,000 responses, 13,627 of which were deemed usable. Altogether, 30.8% identified as female and 68.3% as male; but among those who had themselves contributed, 80% were male, and among the regular contributors more than 86% were men. Wikipedians were found to be more likely than the average French Internet user to have "a 'profession' where researching information has an important place": high school and university students, and executives/white collar employees (cadres). Blue-collar workers were found to be strongly under-represented. The responding Wikipedia users were generally younger than the average French Internet user, more than 60% of them being below 30 years. While the under 30s were still in the majority among contributing Wikipedians, they were older than the readers and more likely to be employed rather than attending high school or university. On the other hand, the distribution of the year where a respondent had first used Wikipedia differed little between readers and contributors, peaking at 2005 for both. Definitive results and further analyses will be published in the coming months.
First Wikipedian-in-Residence at Smithsonian Institution
Wikimedian Sarah Stierch (User:Missvain) has announced she will be a Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Archives of American Art, which are based in Washington DC and form part of the Smithsonian Institution. She told the Signpost that her residency will last from June to August, as an unpaid internship (but gaining credit towards her Masters degree in Museum Studies). While the details are still being worked out, the aims will include:
- Broader coverage of topics related to American Art and the archives of the collection on Wikipedia and related websites.
- Content donation(s) to Commons
- E-volunteer programs (similar to what is being studied right now at the Indianapolis Museum of Art residency)
- Brownbags and workshops with staff and volunteers on how to use Wikipedia
- Possible traffic growth to the AAA's website.
- Digitizing more of the collections.
- Backstage pass tour and an expansion of the GLAM/SI program
The first instance of the "Wikipedian in Residence" model for collaborating with cultural institutions ("GLAMs") was Liam Wyatt's (User:Witty lama's) stay at the British Museum last year. Stierch will be the first Wikipedian-in-Residence at a Smithsonian Museum. Contact between Wikimedians and the institution was established last June (Signpost coverage: "Wikimedia Washington DC reaches out to the Smithsonian"). Earlier this month, Stierch had co-presented a five-minute talk with Katie Filbert (User:Aude) at the institution's "Ignite Smithsonian" conference, encouraging an audience of museum professionals to cooperate with Wikimedians ("Be GLAMorous: Join WikiProject GLAM/SI" – video, blog post).
- Survey of editors: The Wikimedia Foundation's Global Development department has launched a survey of Wikipedia editors (translated into 21 languages, including English) on April 20, "to get a better understanding of Wikipedia's editors and their needs". As explained on the Foundation's blog, the survey is the first of its kind conducted by the WMF (apart from the earlier UNU-MERIT study), and is intended to be repeated semi-annually.
- Milestones: The Marathi language Wikipedia reached 33,333 articles on April 24.
- Meetups: Community meetups took place last week in Mumbai (April 23); New York City (April 23); and Manchester (April 24).
- NYC "GLAMcamp" to join senior GLAM activists: On the weekend of May 20–22, Wikimedia New York City and the New York Public Library will host "GLAMcamp NYC", an event about collaborations with cultural institutions ("GLAMs"). "Rather than an open community conference like Wikimania [the event] will be a workshop targeting a small group of community-focused and technology-focused Wikimedians to kickstart the key elements of the glamwiki.org project". Among other tasks, participants will work on documentation of existing projects to facilitate new ones, and on the development of the "GLAM-Wikimedia ambassador" system (partly modeled after the Wikipedia ambassador roles introduced last year by the Foundation's Public Policy Initiative). The GLAMcamp is supported by a $10,000 grant from the Foundation.
- GLAM blogging: On the blog of the US-based "Center for the Future of Museums", Lori Byrd Phillips (User:HstryQT, the current Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis) wrote about "Museums and Wikipedia: the future of collaboration and accessibility". UK Wikimedian User:Fæ devoted the first two postings on his new personal blog to GLAM topics, a critique of the term "GLAM Ambassador" (proposing to use " e-volunteer" instead), and an appeal to institutions to "Set your digital archive free" by uploading it to Wikimedia Commons.
- Good Internet: A one-day conference titled "Good Internet" at the UC Berkeley saw appearances by the Wikimedia Foundation's Chief Global Development Officer Barry Newstead, Chief Technology Officer Danese Cooper and former Public Outreach Officer Pete Forsyth. Slides for Forsyth's presentation are available online: "Wikipedia: a model for using the Internet for good".