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Couple nights ago we had our monthly meeting. They've become bigger, but in my opinion they have a serious imbalance which has only gotten worse. That is, they are almost entirely about organizational matters. Things like how well we did last month, what we're doing next month, upcoming elections to the master Wikimedia Foundation, etc. Moderately boring to me (that's one reason why I'm not on the Board of Directors anymore) and not useful to the most important audience: newcomers. One newbie politely complained that the promised skill share didn't happen. He's right; it should happen. Others have either complained to me privately or told me of friends who attended one meeting, found it lacking in this regard, and did not return.
The monthly meeting is already too long for the comfort of some members. It is definitely as long as our current landlord will allow, so I do not propose to add an early or late extension. If the organization meeting is to be shortened, it shouldn't be for this reason. Instead, we should have a separate session. Possibly simultaneously in another, smaller room, but more likely a second monthly skill share directed mainly at newbies.
Far as I see, edit-athons are our main recruiting ground. Our host organizations publicize them by using a topical focus, which generally encourages people to attempt a new article, particularly a biography of the living. The least experienced thereby get the toughest job.
Those who found hope, pleasure and understanding from the experience can go to another session with a different topical focus, and sit through the same introductory lecture. That's pretty much a wasted, boring half hour, especially when they hear it a third time. We also tell them how to find all our events (also a less than perfect matter) but when they come to the monthly, they get nothing. Everyone is talking familiarly about matters they don't understand or have a reason to care about. The main thing they need is a chance to learn more of the technical and social aspects of editing. How to judge a good reference, how to weave articles together by links, how to dispute content without sparking explosions, things like that.
There wouldn't be the usual lecture with Five Pillars and Conflict of Interest and such, as long as the majority have already had it. If several have pretty nearly the same questions, then yes we do a long answer but not one requiring slides or other prep work. We could try publicizing a particular technical matter, such as article intros or pictures or Wikidata for some sessions or many, thus requiring a short lecture. Short, thus not taking much time from coaching and, well, sharing skills learned recently or long ago.
Not quite every month. March for example is always crammed; all hands on deck for edit-athons, and in the summer many of the experienced are out of town and others would rather do outdoor things. But, we should do something like this, several times a year and publicized (invited) at edit-athons. Jim.henderson (talk) 15:19, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
- @Jim.henderson: I would be in favor of more thoughtful agenda planning that determined in advance how much time goes to administration versus discussing content editing. I was at the May meeting and the schedule was tight and included a presentation from the Interference Archive, who regularly host Wikipedia events. I thought that was new and different and enjoyed it.
- I agree that people are not attracted to Wikipedia because of the administration - they want to share information. Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:28, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
This past meeting was much improved. Presentations were informative and, more important, half an hour remained for chitchat, much of it highly useful. Being completely unstructured it wasn't what I had in mind but it worked at least as well as my idea would have. Jim.henderson (talk) 19:40, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Request for comment - NYC subways
Adding an Edit-a-thon page
Hello, I created an event page in my sandbox for the Frick Art Reference Library edit-a-thon this August. I have no idea how to move it off there on onto the Meetup/NYC pages. Any advice on how to do this would be appreciated. Hafabe (talk) 00:30, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Events can be posted on the new Wikimedia Space
Would you all like to post your events in the new Wikimedia Space as well? https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/c/events/l/calendar shows the current list, and it will display on a map, too. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
- @Whatamidoing (WMF): You are asking for a significant labor commitment when there is already years of Wikimedia Movement-wide labor scarcity to do orthodox event marketing. Typical Wikimedia affiliates have challenges posting their events in email, which is easiest, then choose meetup.com, twitter, facebook, and conventional channels next. Wikimedia Space seems like the option to consider after all those are in order first. Is there some reason to consider it further? Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:07, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
- In the future, I think that it may be possible to take content from the Wikimedia Space and send it out semi-automagically to some other spaces (e.g., post it on wiki or to a Facebook page).
- Having a central place (whatever that central place is) would be helpful to people who are trying to find out when and where events are happening. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:34, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
- @Whatamidoing (WMF): I am definitely in support of the IFTTT-type solution to post events in one place then see them cross posted elsewhere. This has been a regular topic of discussion in many Wikimedia communities. When the technology is there, even to cross post to just one platform, then I anticipate adoption. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:02, 17 July 2019 (UTC)