Report on online outreach event

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Report on online outreach event

Swaroop Rao
Hello everyone,


You've probably heard about the online "Wikiacademy" that Nitika announced around a week ago; we recently conducted that session on Saturday (10 March 2012) on Google+ Hangout.

Six participants signed up  - one informed day before about her absence, two did not show up at all, one could not log into Google hangout, one was able to attend the first part of the session but then lost his internet connection and eventually we had only one participant who attended the entire session. That's what happened at the online outreach event organised last Saturday, 10th March.

It wasn't particularly an impressive session in terms of turnout - we were expecting all six guys to show up and take part. But even if these 2 participants show interest and edit on regular basis I'd call this event a success - a success rate of 33%.

I'd like to discuss few things that we should definitely keep in mind before we organize similar events:

1. Request only those people to register who are sure to have a stable internet connection. Some students were trying to log in for the session but their hostel/school connections was extremely unstable. Im not sure if there is a way for making sure that they have stable connections but it is really important. (I can also see where this might be difficult, because not many can give any guarantees on the reliability of their net connections)

2. Invariably we'll have few people who'll drop out at the last moment or are not able to join leaving room for someone else to join in. Hence for such events we should probable overbook a session. If one drops out, another one could attend the session instead. This will make sure that we're utilizing our resources and time to the fullest.

3. Ask the participants to do a test google hangout a day or two before the actual event. This will make sure that the participants are not facing any technical issues and can attend the session seamlessly.

4. Maybe at the time of registration we need to ask participants for their phone numbers. We sent reminders to the participants by way of email but yet 2 of them did not show up. It could be that the didn't not read the mails well in time. If we had their phone numbers we could have messaged/called to send them a gentle reminder.

5. We could also send across some useful links and videos for the participants to go through before the session. This way participants will be warmed up and more informed for the session. It will also give the participants enough time to jot down all their queries and get them clarified during the session.

From my personal opinion, online outreach is something that can definitely work. Sitting in Bangalore I was able to train guys from Nepal & Mangalore. I'm hoping that they'll become active editors in English and in their respective native languages. Im really happy to note that at least one of them has already edited several articles in the medical space - which is his field of study.

I'd also like to thank Deepon - he'd put in a lot of time and effort for helping us conduct this session.

Many thanks of course to Nitika, who requested me to conduct the session, and who was omnipresent throughout the session, and took over from me whenever my net connection gave way (Another point: we need to somehow make sure that the instructors themselves have a good net connection).

Hoping to conduct more sessions like these.

Thanks

Swaroop Rao
(MikeLynch)

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Re: Report on online outreach event

Deepon Saha
Thanks swaroop, you really have done a brilliant job.. Lets hope next time we get more participants..:)

Deepon

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM, Swaroop Rao <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello everyone,


You've probably heard about the online "Wikiacademy" that Nitika announced around a week ago; we recently conducted that session on Saturday (10 March 2012) on Google+ Hangout.

Six participants signed up  - one informed day before about her absence, two did not show up at all, one could not log into Google hangout, one was able to attend the first part of the session but then lost his internet connection and eventually we had only one participant who attended the entire session. That's what happened at the online outreach event organised last Saturday, 10th March.

It wasn't particularly an impressive session in terms of turnout - we were expecting all six guys to show up and take part. But even if these 2 participants show interest and edit on regular basis I'd call this event a success - a success rate of 33%.

I'd like to discuss few things that we should definitely keep in mind before we organize similar events:

1. Request only those people to register who are sure to have a stable internet connection. Some students were trying to log in for the session but their hostel/school connections was extremely unstable. Im not sure if there is a way for making sure that they have stable connections but it is really important. (I can also see where this might be difficult, because not many can give any guarantees on the reliability of their net connections)

2. Invariably we'll have few people who'll drop out at the last moment or are not able to join leaving room for someone else to join in. Hence for such events we should probable overbook a session. If one drops out, another one could attend the session instead. This will make sure that we're utilizing our resources and time to the fullest.

3. Ask the participants to do a test google hangout a day or two before the actual event. This will make sure that the participants are not facing any technical issues and can attend the session seamlessly.

4. Maybe at the time of registration we need to ask participants for their phone numbers. We sent reminders to the participants by way of email but yet 2 of them did not show up. It could be that the didn't not read the mails well in time. If we had their phone numbers we could have messaged/called to send them a gentle reminder.

5. We could also send across some useful links and videos for the participants to go through before the session. This way participants will be warmed up and more informed for the session. It will also give the participants enough time to jot down all their queries and get them clarified during the session.

From my personal opinion, online outreach is something that can definitely work. Sitting in Bangalore I was able to train guys from Nepal & Mangalore. I'm hoping that they'll become active editors in English and in their respective native languages. Im really happy to note that at least one of them has already edited several articles in the medical space - which is his field of study.

I'd also like to thank Deepon - he'd put in a lot of time and effort for helping us conduct this session.

Many thanks of course to Nitika, who requested me to conduct the session, and who was omnipresent throughout the session, and took over from me whenever my net connection gave way (Another point: we need to somehow make sure that the instructors themselves have a good net connection).

Hoping to conduct more sessions like these.

Thanks

Swaroop Rao
(MikeLynch)

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Re: Report on online outreach event

Dhaval S. Vyas
Hi Swaroop,
 
This is quite common phenomenon for the new beginings. I have started online meetups/sessions for Gujarati Wikipedia since the begining of this new Year. Have held 4 sessions so far. Had similar experience in my firstever planned event. Users are showing interest, and I am sure, if we continued it as a regular event, people will be regular to attend as well. Those who couldn't join the meetups/events online, have shared their apologies and have regreted for it, which shows that they genuinely missed, and that is enough for me to carry it on.
 
Simply wanted to say that you are doing a nice job, please "Keep Calm and Carry On". People will join and number of participants will increase slowly.
 
All the best!
Dhaval

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM, Deepon Saha <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks swaroop, you really have done a brilliant job.. Lets hope next time we get more participants..:)

Deepon

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM, Swaroop Rao <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello everyone,


You've probably heard about the online "Wikiacademy" that Nitika announced around a week ago; we recently conducted that session on Saturday (10 March 2012) on Google+ Hangout.

Six participants signed up  - one informed day before about her absence, two did not show up at all, one could not log into Google hangout, one was able to attend the first part of the session but then lost his internet connection and eventually we had only one participant who attended the entire session. That's what happened at the online outreach event organised last Saturday, 10th March.

It wasn't particularly an impressive session in terms of turnout - we were expecting all six guys to show up and take part. But even if these 2 participants show interest and edit on regular basis I'd call this event a success - a success rate of 33%.

I'd like to discuss few things that we should definitely keep in mind before we organize similar events:

1. Request only those people to register who are sure to have a stable internet connection. Some students were trying to log in for the session but their hostel/school connections was extremely unstable. Im not sure if there is a way for making sure that they have stable connections but it is really important. (I can also see where this might be difficult, because not many can give any guarantees on the reliability of their net connections)

2. Invariably we'll have few people who'll drop out at the last moment or are not able to join leaving room for someone else to join in. Hence for such events we should probable overbook a session. If one drops out, another one could attend the session instead. This will make sure that we're utilizing our resources and time to the fullest.

3. Ask the participants to do a test google hangout a day or two before the actual event. This will make sure that the participants are not facing any technical issues and can attend the session seamlessly.

4. Maybe at the time of registration we need to ask participants for their phone numbers. We sent reminders to the participants by way of email but yet 2 of them did not show up. It could be that the didn't not read the mails well in time. If we had their phone numbers we could have messaged/called to send them a gentle reminder.

5. We could also send across some useful links and videos for the participants to go through before the session. This way participants will be warmed up and more informed for the session. It will also give the participants enough time to jot down all their queries and get them clarified during the session.

From my personal opinion, online outreach is something that can definitely work. Sitting in Bangalore I was able to train guys from Nepal & Mangalore. I'm hoping that they'll become active editors in English and in their respective native languages. Im really happy to note that at least one of them has already edited several articles in the medical space - which is his field of study.

I'd also like to thank Deepon - he'd put in a lot of time and effort for helping us conduct this session.

Many thanks of course to Nitika, who requested me to conduct the session, and who was omnipresent throughout the session, and took over from me whenever my net connection gave way (Another point: we need to somehow make sure that the instructors themselves have a good net connection).

Hoping to conduct more sessions like these.

Thanks

Swaroop Rao
(MikeLynch)

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Re: Report on online outreach event

wheredevelsdare
Very good to know about outreach by yourself and others from Gujarati Wikipedia. Would appreciate if you could post a small note reporting how each event went, so that the rest of the community in India is abreast with your activities and can learn and replicate the good work your doing/avoid repeating any mistakes you may have made.


Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 22:16:42 +0000
From: [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
CC: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Report on online outreach event

Hi Swaroop,
 
This is quite common phenomenon for the new beginings. I have started online meetups/sessions for Gujarati Wikipedia since the begining of this new Year. Have held 4 sessions so far. Had similar experience in my firstever planned event. Users are showing interest, and I am sure, if we continued it as a regular event, people will be regular to attend as well. Those who couldn't join the meetups/events online, have shared their apologies and have regreted for it, which shows that they genuinely missed, and that is enough for me to carry it on.
 
Simply wanted to say that you are doing a nice job, please "Keep Calm and Carry On". People will join and number of participants will increase slowly.
 
All the best!
Dhaval

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM, Deepon Saha <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks swaroop, you really have done a brilliant job.. Lets hope next time we get more participants..:)

Deepon

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM, Swaroop Rao <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello everyone,


You've probably heard about the online "Wikiacademy" that Nitika announced around a week ago; we recently conducted that session on Saturday (10 March 2012) on Google+ Hangout.

Six participants signed up  - one informed day before about her absence, two did not show up at all, one could not log into Google hangout, one was able to attend the first part of the session but then lost his internet connection and eventually we had only one participant who attended the entire session. That's what happened at the online outreach event organised last Saturday, 10th March.

It wasn't particularly an impressive session in terms of turnout - we were expecting all six guys to show up and take part. But even if these 2 participants show interest and edit on regular basis I'd call this event a success - a success rate of 33%.

I'd like to discuss few things that we should definitely keep in mind before we organize similar events:

1. Request only those people to register who are sure to have a stable internet connection. Some students were trying to log in for the session but their hostel/school connections was extremely unstable. Im not sure if there is a way for making sure that they have stable connections but it is really important. (I can also see where this might be difficult, because not many can give any guarantees on the reliability of their net connections)

2. Invariably we'll have few people who'll drop out at the last moment or are not able to join leaving room for someone else to join in. Hence for such events we should probable overbook a session. If one drops out, another one could attend the session instead. This will make sure that we're utilizing our resources and time to the fullest.

3. Ask the participants to do a test google hangout a day or two before the actual event. This will make sure that the participants are not facing any technical issues and can attend the session seamlessly.

4. Maybe at the time of registration we need to ask participants for their phone numbers. We sent reminders to the participants by way of email but yet 2 of them did not show up. It could be that the didn't not read the mails well in time. If we had their phone numbers we could have messaged/called to send them a gentle reminder.

5. We could also send across some useful links and videos for the participants to go through before the session. This way participants will be warmed up and more informed for the session. It will also give the participants enough time to jot down all their queries and get them clarified during the session.

From my personal opinion, online outreach is something that can definitely work. Sitting in Bangalore I was able to train guys from Nepal & Mangalore. I'm hoping that they'll become active editors in English and in their respective native languages. Im really happy to note that at least one of them has already edited several articles in the medical space - which is his field of study.

I'd also like to thank Deepon - he'd put in a lot of time and effort for helping us conduct this session.

Many thanks of course to Nitika, who requested me to conduct the session, and who was omnipresent throughout the session, and took over from me whenever my net connection gave way (Another point: we need to somehow make sure that the instructors themselves have a good net connection).

Hoping to conduct more sessions like these.

Thanks

Swaroop Rao
(MikeLynch)

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Re: Report on online outreach event

Hisham-7
In reply to this post by Swaroop Rao
Hi MikeLynch

Thanks so much for taking the initiative on this one and giving your time.  We need innovative solutions for outreach that are scaleable - and online outreach is clearly one of them.  Not everything goes according to plan, but nothing ventured = nothing gained.

On Mar 13, 2012, at 7:19 PM, Swaroop Rao wrote:

I'd like to discuss few things that we should definitely keep in mind before we organize similar events:

<snip>

5. We could also send across some useful links and videos for the participants to go through before the session. This way participants will be warmed up and more informed for the session. It will also give the participants enough time to jot down all their queries and get them clarified during the session.

A risk in online outreach is that folks tend to come in "cold" to the session.  In a physical outreach session, there is usually posters, mentions of the workshop on the event website, word-of-mouth etc.  The beauty of online outreach is that it is so easy to inspire and motivate them prior to the session - using purely online resources - and that should keep them charged up, which should help increase attendance.  (The pitfall of online outreach is that it is so much easier for someone to drop out at the last minute because they haven't made the physical investment of traveling to a location and mentally blocking out x hours for an outreach event.)   We need to work out these issues - but I think they are fixable.

From my personal opinion, online outreach is something that can definitely work. Sitting in Bangalore I was able to train guys from Nepal & Mangalore. I'm hoping that they'll become active editors in English and in their respective native languages. Im really happy to note that at least one of them has already edited several articles in the medical space - which is his field of study.

This is magic!  A Sanskrit & English (amongst others?) Wikipedian sitting at home (I presume!) in India is helping establish a Nepali community in Nepal!  

The potential is amazing.  Imagine a situation where we have a regular series of online outreach sessions happening with a rotating set of community members who can conduct whenever they are free.  

Another benefit of online outreach is that it affords the opportunity of existing editors who do not do outreach and might want to do so but don't know how to attend a session and see how it's done without having to move out of their homes. We could then have new folks who will conduct outreach from the existing community from all over the country (and world!)

I'd also like to thank Deepon - he'd put in a lot of time and effort for helping us conduct this session.

Thanks much, Deepon!

Best

hisham


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Re: Report on online outreach event

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-2
excellent Swaroop! The only thing that I find odd is suggestion to
overbook. Creating a waitlist seems to be making it an exclusivity.
While I can say this is bad, as it is against Wikipedia principles, I
can also say that Exclusivity builds interest. I know this sounds
crazy, but do let me know what you think.

--
Regards,
Srikanth Ramakrishnan.
Wikipedia Coimbatore Meetup on February 12th.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meetup/Coimbatore
Aliens invaded Tamil Nadu, left their Spacship and now it is a Toll Plaza.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IVRCL-Vijayamangalam-Toll-Plaza.JPG

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Re: Report on online outreach event

Pradeep Mohandas

Hi,

Can we have a place where we can request certain ttopics of outreach events on google+, orc etc? Eg. Sessions on doing DYK, tagging, wikifying or editing Wikipedia in Indic languages, etc?

These don't get time at regular meetups and are of interest to small groups best served by above apps. More targeted sessions.

Pradeep
Handheld

On Mar 14, 2012 9:25 PM, "Srikanth Ramakrishnan" <[hidden email]> wrote:
excellent Swaroop! The only thing that I find odd is suggestion to
overbook. Creating a waitlist seems to be making it an exclusivity.
While I can say this is bad, as it is against Wikipedia principles, I
can also say that Exclusivity builds interest. I know this sounds
crazy, but do let me know what you think.

--
Regards,
Srikanth Ramakrishnan.
Wikipedia Coimbatore Meetup on February 12th.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meetup/Coimbatore
Aliens invaded Tamil Nadu, left their Spacship and now it is a Toll Plaza.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IVRCL-Vijayamangalam-Toll-Plaza.JPG

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Re: Report on online outreach event

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-2
Good suggestion. I guess you could go ahead and create a page in your
local wiki on this. That way, we can involve each community
independently and still have such sessions.

--
Regards,
Srikanth Ramakrishnan.
Wikipedia Coimbatore Meetup on February 12th.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meetup/Coimbatore
Aliens invaded Tamil Nadu, left their Spacship and now it is a Toll Plaza.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IVRCL-Vijayamangalam-Toll-Plaza.JPG

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