Annual Report 2023/Fail fest: Failure to Establish Local Communities

Från Wikimedia
Hoppa till navigering Hoppa till sök
Det här är en översatt version av sidan Verksamhetsberättelse 2023/Fail fest: Har inte fått lokala gemenskaper på plats. Översättningen är till 100 % färdig och uppdaterad.

This fail fest focuses on the association's lack of certain tools and processes for other organizations to effectively (1) understand the value and opportunities of collaborating with the Wikimedia movement to share their knowledge or engage their networks, and (2) to engage them long-term and take ownership of the work. The realization that these tools and processes were missing or inadequate led to a reprioritization where important steps were taken to change the situation for similar future initiatives.

In the project Wikipedia for all of Sweden we have reached out to new and potential partners with proposals and discussions about longer engagements and collaborations on the Wikimedia platforms.These initial contacts were aimed at informing them about Wikimedia Sverige and the potential of a culture of sharing and the benefits of free knowledge.

We have had contact with over a hundred organizations; the vast majority of them are initially positive and want more information on how we can mutually benefit from cooperting. At the same time, there is a growing realization that engaging on a deeper level requires allocating time and resources within their own organization. We also hope that organizations quickly become self-sufficient after the first meetings.

Popular movements and communities grow best when they start at the grassroots level. There also needs to be some kind of overarching value that is easy to understand and agree with when the work is based on voluntary participation. There are still challenges in telling organizations about the benefits of approaching a free knowledge ecosystem.

There was a lot of interest in local cooperation and a genuine willingness to get involved in the project. Unfortunately, it turned out that there was a lack of sustainability and more individual responsibility, which hampered the overall progress of the project. The initial expectation of creating favorable conditions encountered a higher threshold than we had anticipated. One of the challenges we encountered was the lack of sufficient communication before the start of the project. There was a lack of distinct brand awareness, as well as a common understanding of the project's purpose and goals. This resulted in the initial planning and anchoring not reaching as far as desired during the first meetings, as a significant amount of time was spent on explaining the basics of the Wikimedia movement and platforms.

The project's approach involved actively seeking out potential partners in geographical areas that are underrepresented (in this case, four counties in Sweden), rather than responding to requests from organizations that have already identified who we are and actively decided to work with us. This required a more comprehensive effort. We needed to clearly explain the values, philosophy, and specific structures of the Wikimedia movement and then quickly transform that into concrete collaborative efforts. It was clearly noticeable that the initial work was hampered by the fact that important components, such as the idea program, supporting materials and well-developed communication channels, had not been implemented before the project started. In particular, we saw a strong need to offer more basic training as e-learning. That's why we shifted our focus and invested a lot of time during the year in developing modules for the platform. In addition, we also wrote a number of concept papers and instructional materials on how specific types events are ran to make it easier for people who want to organize local activities to get started.

It became clear that the project would have turned out better with a longer timeframe, allowing for a smooth and well-structured preparation period. From this perspective, a clearer planning and preparation phase would have been of utmost importance, even if it would have left more time for building up the partnerships. It is clear that the project would have benefited from deeper communication and improved brand awareness. Learning from these challenges will strengthen our ability to navigate similar collaborative projects in the future. However, the project created the conditions to develop the resources that were missing, which means completely different opportunities to implement similar projects in the future.