Submissions/Engineering volunteering - what’s this volunteer support all about anyway?

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 1034
Title of the submission
Engineering volunteering - What’s this volunteer support all about anyway?
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Dirk Franke (WMDE)
E-mail address
Dirk Franke (WMDE)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Deutschland
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikimedia Germany has one of the largest departments for volunteer support amongst the Wikimedia organizations: 6 soon to be 8 people and a little over 1 Million Euros budget. Why do we think volunteer support is so important, and what is it we do?

I want to talk about the challenges of letting camera's fly.

How volunteer support allows Wikimedians to create free knowledge and content they might not have been able to create on their own. How it enables people delve into depths of knowledge that might not have been available otherwise, and share them with the world. How do we help to make great ideas for free knowledge possible, without drifting toward paid editing?

I want to talk about reach.

Because doing volunteer support for us is all about unlocking doors, building bridges and strengthening bonds - many of them. So how come, we only know 0,5% of the authors? How do you create an environment where somebody knows they can get what they need to write that one amazing article about an island in the North sea, while helping other people organize the annual WikiCon where 200 Wikimedians from all around the country meet and the next person asking for help to set-up a big photo project. How do you spread the word for more people to come and keep that inviting atmosphere alive, that keeps volunteers coming back for more?

And when the day is done it’s evaluation time.

Is it enough? Can we do more? Do we need a vending machine for authors? How can the busy bees of Wikimedia, those writers, uploaders and creators be the ones to use it? “Tea and crumpets with the authors” meets “bigger, better, faster, harder” - are we ready to take volunteer support to the next level?

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
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