Global Volunteer Leaders On Wiki (GLOW)

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GLOW or Global Volunteer Leaders On Wiki is an intervention program designed to create interest for people to edit in Wikimedia Projects by empowering volunteers.

The program is designed systematically in calculating the resources (conditions) it may need to ensure result and deliverable in increasing number of readership by increasing the number of very active contributors contributing to additional valuable content to a certain period of time and to a certain number of increase in quantity and/ or the quality of contents.

Background

The program is introduce as an intervention since currently wikimedia project culture identify as "not welcoming to strangers/ visitors" of the website. Although the site is “free for anyone to edit”, globally statistic shows that the numbers of very active editors is stagnant – worse, the same statistic number may not show very active contributors who leaves – considering that there's an assumption of additional new very active contributors every now and then. Discussion shows that it may be a result of both "high technical barrier" or "social structure" developed within community.

In short, Wikipedia is not attractive to edit, people didn't see the advantage of learning the technological side of it (wiki) or the benefit of getting involve in it socially. In general they felt somewhat "sorry" and "amazed" at the volunteers that contribute but are not compelled to become one (volunteer) providing the existence of barriers and the absent of incentive. These problems threats the wikimedia strategic goal worldwide: increase readership.

Globally, Alexa noted that Wikipedia is not on top five internet site in the world anymore, in the last two years it dropped to number seven or eight, while in Indonesia, where the internet infrastructure is getting better and more people are able to connect to the internet, it dropped to number thirteen, several numbers below top two free blogging sites: blogger and wordpress.

Combining lesson learn and better practice of two Wikimedia pilot projects using University students, professors, and volunteer in Indonesia (Free Your Knowledge 2010 writing competition) and in United States of America (Public Policy Initiative), the designers of these initiatives (the team) from Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Indonesia met in San Fransisco on November 2010 to brainstorm and explore the possibility of using a new intervention project that feasible to apply globally.

Focused intervention similarity: Wikipedia and Universities

Both pilot interventions (U.S. and Indonesia) approaches universities as entry point of interference, where students contribute, professors rate the contributions, and wikipedia used as the platform to allow learning/ rating process by providing additional entity[1] as a medium to allow smooth transition for both learning and rating process interaction without overwhelming the existing volunteer.

Based on the previous pilot lesson learn and better practice, the team then prepared selected information needed and schematic process of the previous pilot project to answers some of the basic questions that arises.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

Question: Where?
  • Should an intervention program done on language-based project? (i.e English Wikipedia, Indonesian language Wikipedia, Javanese language Wikipedia) without considering the location?
  • Or should an intervention program done based a location? (i.e Brazil, Philippines, U.S., Africa) without considering the language based project (i.e. Indian editing English Wikipedia vs Indian editing Hindi Wikipedia)
Answer: Depends, what available resources do you got?
Intervention program goal by language with volunteers.png

Notes

  1. * (*) In U.S. this additional entity are WMF team (5 persons in a team) that advertised "ambassador" position available to a few selected interested volunteers ( x people). Criteria for selection are undisclosed. Selected volunteers later receive incentive of meetings, travels, and training in San Fransisco.
    • (*) In Indonesia this additional entity are four (4 persons) interns hired (paid) by Project Director (1 person) to ensure full time commitment to the project and trained in Jakarta to take care of participants (university students and its professors).