Capacity Building Meeting Notes

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Capacity Building Meeting - 20 january 2017, facilitated by Asaf

Initial comments from participants

From Helmi

  • language equity (such as tech fixes in fabricator). Asaf states this is not a capacity building issue (but interesting nevertheless)
  • needs more crosswiki bots (rather than per language bot)

From Samuel (IC)

  • his issue is convincing potential GLAM partners. Dev the group capacity to convince cultural institutions to partner with WP.

From Florence

  • how do we effectively engage media outlets in Africa ?

From Bobby (SA)

  • looking for the formula to make a wikipedian. What can we do better to find and recruit wikipedians

From Sam (Nigeria)

  • how can we innoculate members against the hostility or what the newbies interpretate as hostility ? How to protect the newbies from a first bad experience ?

From Shola (Nigeria)

  • how can we change things to avoid or combat marginalization of African groups ?

From Raphaël (Ghana)

  • how to effectively share experience and train the trainers ?

Topic discussed: how to protect newbies from bad experiences ?

A lot of bad experiences are actually for good reasons.

Directions to explore

  1. incubation : do it in the sandbox. Review proccess. Mentorship
  2. be bold. preparing the newbie to what could happen. Help them get a thick skin. Natural reaction is to be offended and take it personally. Teach them they need to have a certain attitude
  3. They should read the policies
  4. should encourage them to edit in relation to their passions and knowledge,
  5. avoid writing about your passion; May be more neutral and more open to rules and better attitude. so make newbies work on their interests but on their passions
  6. core curriculum or checklist of elements we consider essentials
  7. cultivate newbies on smaller wikis. even if they meet a bad experience (being reverted), teach the newbie that it is not the end of the world but the beginning of a new conversation
  8. instead of reverting, tag with explanations
  9. teach by showing, not by telling. For example, write the non-neutral sentences then write the neutral sentence
  10. Learn and teach? Some techniques are teachable. Tell them what they need to know. Rather than tell them what they need to know.
  11. Set expectations with the community to be lenient with newbies

Topic discussed : how to partner with cultural institutions (governement authorities, museums, librairies, archives)

Share frustrations and problems

Stella (Ghana) : work with Public Archives in Ghana. Freedom of panorama create issues (70 years until the archive is accessible). Report potential partner do not understand the MOU (memorandum of understanding) which implies many back and fro. MOU must go through the legal departement. The path of least resistance from the lawyer is "no".
Samuel (IC) : potential partners skeptical with why you are interested in the information
Shola (Nigeria) : Conflict when some cultural organizations are making money from the collection (but Asaf points out that they usually only make money from a small proportion of their collection anyway. And often do not know what in their collection actually does make money due to poor tracking).
Kayode (Nigeria). Give them good reasons from their perspectives. Use their language, their terms
Helmi (Canada) : need to start on the good reasons for them to agree and start thinking of their worries

Homework to do before any meeting

  1. Give them good reasons from their perspectives (eg, viewership)
  2. Have good answers prepared to answer their concerns
  3. Learn about institutions, their mission and their rules. "Quote them". "what your organization is about is "quote". Read their annual report, their blog, the things they are proud about. For example, if they say "in 2015, we go a 15% increase in readership", an argument might be "increase in page views". If they report about old manuscripts conservation, they may be more interested in a digitization project. In short... learn about thei partner and use their language
  4. Tell people a story. Cite examples, large and small. You need to convince them that it is not only about a big well funded museum in the western world but also a smaller local things.
  5. Make sure the institutions have or can have a role in the partnership (if they are interested)

An important element of success is the attitude. You want to smell success and confidence, but desperation.
You are not asking a favor. You are about setting up something mutually beneficial. Being willing and ready to take no for an answer. Need to be ready to walk away. Do not push too much, do not sound desperate or angry.
Learn about what they might be interested in

  • use tools such as glamourous (see Asaf session on tools). Show them figures Rather than give them figures.

The legal department made a sample MOU. There is no need to get WMF approval but a review can be a good idea.