What chapters think of communities<br />“They never did anything for our cause”<br />“They don’t appreciate our efforts”<br />“They sit at home in pajamas and write stupid articles”<br />“They don’t understand the Eternal Wisdom of the Foundation”<br />“They aren’t interested in what goes on in meta”<br />
What communities think of chapters<br />“They are a bunch of self-important assholes who want jobs in government”<br />“The last time they edited in Wikipedia was in early 2006”<br />“They don’t have anything better to do”<br />“They take orders from all sorts of people with foreign names that won’t tell us what to do”<br />“They want to fly around the world and sip cocktails”<br />“They’re looking for a job”<br />“Why do we need the damn thing?!”<br />
The bitter reality<br />News and information about chapter activities are met with:<br />Indifference<br />Cynicism <br />Ridicule<br />Schadenfreude<br />What goes on in the online projects stops interesting the chapter<br />
The bitter reality (cont.)<br />Chapter activists stop being active online<br />Editors have no interest in becoming chapter members<br />A large rift grows between the two sides<br />
Video company<br />Wikimedia Israel signed an agreement with a dubious company to record “video articles” in return to adding links to their material on Wikipedia articles<br />Community response was very negative<br />Lesson learned: intervention with online content on the part of a chapter is an absolute faux-pas<br />
Village pump censorship<br />Information related to purchase options of Wikipedia T-shirts issued by Wikimedia Israel for a big meet-up were repeatedly removed from the village pump because “it didn’t belong there”<br />Lesson learned: choose the right people to post such information<br />
Wikipedia Exhibition<br />Wikimedia Israel found financing for a big poster exhibition about Wikipedia<br />The posters were edited online, on Wikipedia, by the editor community<br />Lesson learned: let the editor community take part from home <br />
Some advice to chapter founders and activists<br />Don’t set up a chapter if you don’t have a team of well-known and mainstream editors<br />Make sure you know why you’re starting a chapter, and what you should expect<br />Assign someone from the chapter to act as an “ambassador” to the community; make sure she’s active and accepted by the community<br />Always inform<br />Be transparent <br />NEVER agree to any commitment that involves the actual content or design of the projects<br />
Some advice to communities<br />Understand that chapter activists are your fellows, not your enemies<br />Look for ways in which the chapter can help your online project (including financially)<br />Remember that at first, the chapter will make some poor decisions, give it a grace period<br />
Chapters everywhere you look<br />Are chapters the right thing for all editor communities?<br />
Chapters by impulse<br />Who should decide on founding a chapter, and by which process?<br />
Correlation of structure<br />Should there be a correlation of structure between chapter and community?<br />
1:1 mapping between projects and chapters?<br />Many languages in a geography<br />Many geographies with a common language<br />So no 1:1 mapping between editor communities and chapters<br />
The value of chapter membership<br />“Continue your online activity offline”<br />Does it appeal to all people?<br />Can we offer other, less-formal paths?<br />Can we turn chapter membership into a valuable thing?<br />
Chapters as a career<br />Should we encourage chapters to grow to a point where they can hire activists as paid employees?<br />Doesn’t this have a very deterring and negative effect?<br />
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