Explorations Toward a Content Partnerships Hub: Announcing the Helpdesk

Wikimedia Sverige providing help to students at a University in Sweden. Foto: Axel Pettersson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

As part of the work with a Content Partnerships Hub, Wikimedia Sverige launches a helpdesk. The Helpdesk will provide hands-on support to affiliates and volunteers who are trying to form content partnerships, especially for local communities in the underserved and underrepresented parts of the world. 

Wikimedia Sverige is experimenting with an initiative for a content partnerships hub. The aim is to build a service to the movement, and help Wikimedia communities worldwide make content available on the Wikimedia platforms, together with partners. 

In preparation for the hub, the team at Wikimedia Sverige held interviews with more than fifty movement leaders. Views and perspectives have varied, but one reply has been consistent in almost all interviews:

The movement wants to work more with content partnerships, but often lacks the know-how, and would like concrete support.

As a response to this, Wikimedia Sverige has developed a Helpdesk concept. With this blog post, we are officially launching the Helpdesk!

The Helpdesk will provide hands-on support to affiliates and volunteers who are trying to form content partnerships, especially for local communities in the underserved and underrepresented parts of the world. 

We are also planning events around the Helpdesk and other aspects of the thematic hub. At the event we will reply to questions about the Helpdesk and discuss next steps. You can find out more about the events here

We will provide dedicated staff time to help solve the problems you have requested. Wikimedia Sverige has had hundreds of content partnerships over the years, where GLAM institutions and other partners have shared hundreds of thousands of media files and we want to help.

The support can take various forms and help solving issues such as:

What does a good partnership agreement look like? How do we convince partners about free licenses? How do we do a batch upload of photos or data? How do we share the outcome with our partner?

Requests can be made by chapters, user groups, individual volunteers, or any kind of grouping within the movement.

The crucial thing is that the support is tailored to the needs of the communities. Needs vary with the situation and the context, and the hub is a function for the entire movement.

The idea is also not to transfer all the work with content partnerships to the hub – but rather to to build capacity across the movement for actors to begin this journey themselves. 

If there is a request that the Helpdesk team does not have the answer to, then it will work to find other experts within the Wikimedia movement that can assist. We will also initiate conversations with affiliates in the movement, on how we can collaborate around this. We hope that other affiliates will dedicate staff time to help with the requests to the Helpdesk in their areas of expertise.

In order to give proper feedback to the requests, and to prioritize when there are more requests than time to handle them, an expert committee is being appointed, by a diverse group of qualified volunteers. The setup, members and function of the expert committee will be outlined in a followup blog post.

We are currently developing the portal page for the helpdesk. If you already have a content partnership in mind, for which you would like support, do not hesitate to visit the website and reach out to helpdesk@wikimedia.se.