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Submissions/“Idea support” - Going new ways in volunteer support to help turn ideas into successful projects

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
“Idea support” - Going new ways in volunteer support to help turn ideas into successful projects
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
presentation with discussion
Author of the submission
Veronika Krämer (WMDE)
E-mail address
Veronika Krämer (WMDE)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Germany
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Thousands of volunteers contribute to Wikimedia projects worldwide every day. All of those contributions and volunteer projects have in common that they start with an idea. But how can volunteers best be supported to help them transform their ideas into successful projects?

Wikimedia Germany has supported volunteers for many years now, with measures ranging from providing literature for article writing or technical equipment for taking pictures, to helping volunteers successfully organize large photography projects or workshops. The experience gained from those years of supporting volunteers has shown that certain ways of support work better than others, and that not all measures always lead to the desired outcomes. Based on those insights, we are now rethinking our approach to volunteer support together with the very active German-speaking community.

This talk aims at discussing different ways of volunteer support - by presenting selected volunteer projects and the experiences gained from them, “best practices”, lessons learned and the thoughts behind our new concept of “idea support” will be looked at. We will explain why and how we decided to support groups and show which positive effects the strengthening of local community groups has for the Wikimedia projects.

Those points are closely linked to some other important questions that arise for those involved in volunteer support:

  • How can volunteer support reach even more people and encourage them to contribute to the Wikimedia projects?
  • What kind of support is necessary to turn ideas into sustainable activities contributing to the Wikimedia movement?
  • How can support be laid out in such a way that it empowers volunteers to further pursue their ideas after one particular project is finished?
  • What are the challenges faced by volunteers when planning and realizing projects, and how can support be designed in a way that helps overcome those challenges?

Of course there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to volunteer support - every idea and project is different, people have varying amounts of time on their hands to invest in projects, and the availability of other resources differs from case to case as well. Part of this talk will thus look at how idea support can be applied to a range of different projects and ideas, despite varying circumstances and preconditions.

The first half of this talk will focus on addressing the above points and questions with the help of “real life case studies” of volunteer projects supported by Wikimedia Germany. The second part will hopefully be less of a presentation, but more of a discussion with the audience, so that everybody can share their experiences and input.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I will try to.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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