Wikimedia Wikimeet India 2021: Entering the Design Stage: “How?” (preliminary ideas)

Wikimedia Wikimeet India 2021 (WMWM or WMWMI) will be a 3-days-long online Wikievent or Wikimeet to be conducted on 19 – 21 February 2021. Please have a look at the event page. In our last blog post we tried to explain “Why Wikimedia Wikimeet India 2021?” (which was a brief observation at the end of the Identification Stage). In this blog post we’ll enter the design stage and we’ll try to narrate our preliminary ideas about the initial design. As we’ll go ahead together, we’ll have detailed ideas and find clearer ways to prepare different parts of the programme. We’ll definitely need community input and expert advice to plan and prepare better.

Please note that this is the first time we are working on a large-scale online Wikievent. There might be unwanted errors, issues, difficulties or mistakes. We request to assume good faith.

Core ideas or Pillars

There were a few ideas behind planning and conducting the Wikimedia Wikimeet India 2021, which we may call “core ideas” or “pillars”. These ideas do not tell directly or in details how to conduct any part of the event, but these initial ideas motivated the plan. You may find that the core ideas are possibly related to each other.

  1. Exploring online platform for Wiki-events: In comparison to on-ground or in-person event, we have less experience in conducting large-scale online events. We wanted to explore this option in a systematic way. This event also wants to celebrate and feature some of the best online contribution made by volunteer Wikimedians and communities.
  2. Learning, Evaluation and Dissemination: While preparing for and conducting the program, we need to learn new things and process related to online event, remote participation, hybrid/blended learning etc. We do not see WMWM as only an event, where we already know the answers, but it is more like a journey with a lot of learning opportunity. We would most definitely like to learn from others, and share our learning on a regular basis in different formats such as blog post, learning pattern, infographics etc.
  3. Platform for important topics: WMWM platform might be a good place to discuss, and learn about some of the most important ongoing Wiki-activities or programs such as Strategy2030, Abstract Wikipedia, etc.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: This is an online event, and won’t have many components of in-person event. Cost-effectiveness is also a core idea behind planning WMWM.
  5. Kindness/Civility: This is the fifth core idea/pillar of WMWM. Kindness is a virtue. It is always important to be kind to each other and assume good faith. We believe that we’ll nurture this practice and will be kind to each other throughout the event.

Preliminary ideas and opinions on How?

Program and Schedule: How are we going to prepare the schedule?

We have some ideas, but we definitely do not have the event schedule prepared now. The event schedule will be prepared after a detailed needs-assessment and community inputs. The needs-assessment will take place between (around) 20 November – 20 December 2020 to know more about specific areas and topics of interest. This will be a multi-layered needs-assessment and other than trying to understand the specific areas or topics to focus, it will also attempt to learn about the required/desired program environment, required assistance/support etc.

Recent online events: Learning from the organisers.

We have started making a list of recently conducted online Wiki-events such as Celtic Knot Conference 2020, WikiCite Virtual Conference 2020, Wikimedia CEE Online Meeting etc. What we are planning now, some of the communities and affiliates already done something similar. It would be wise to talk to the organisers of these events, and get their suggestions on different aspects. In November and December we’ll talk some of these event organisers and apply the learning in our programme planning. Please follow the newsletter and Get involved page to get updates.

Request for Comments: In search of answers or solutions.

We would like to have community inputs on specific questions and topics. Under the WMWM event page, we’ll have a Request for Comments (RfC) portal where we’ll invite comments and opinions from communities and community members. The RfC portal is expected to start around 18 November 2020. Any RfC question/topic will remain open for at least 10 days, (and mostly remain open for longer). In the month of November 2020 – February 2021 we wish to invite opinion and suggestions on a number of topics. We believe that this will not only help in the design stage, but it will also help in learning or to collectively find solutions to specific problems.

Get involved: Let’s do this together.

Inputs and collaboration from communities and experienced Wikimedians are really important. From one-time activity like logo designing, to programme submission, or session moderation, we would require your inputs. We’ll inform on a regular basis about different areas where we would require your support. Please follow the Get Involved page to know about the latest updates.

Communication: How are we going to share updates and progress?

These are our communication ideas. More channels (such as social media platforms) will be added gradually.

Questions? If you have questions please let us know here.


Image attribution: Nicolas de Fer creator QS:P170,Q1648130 Reproduction from an original copper plate print (1692) by Palauenc05. (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:De_Fer_Trier_1692.jpg), De Fer Trier 1692, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-old