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Reaching out to potential technical contributors among readers of Wikipedia et al
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Description

(This is an evolution of an old proposal at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Topic:R65l2pg88tpky977 )

There is a diagram at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_technical_volunteer_outreach.jpg

We don't need to run any survey to be sure that:

  • Plenty of potential technical contributors are regular readers of Wikipedia.
  • The big majority of them are not aware that we have plenty of open source projects and activities welcoming developers as well as other technical contributors.
  • The big majority of them don't follow mediawiki.org, the Wikimedia Blog, Village Pumps, our mailing lists or our social media.
  • Therefore, we are basically not talking to them, even if they visit "us" regularly.

We could explore a collaboration with the projects where these potential contributors are more likely be found. English and German Wikipedias come to mind. We are both interested in turning some of those readers in technical contributors improving (among other things) the software running English Wikipedia.

Notes:

We are talking primarily about tapping new readers, not editors. Editors are important too, but they are already contributing and busy. Proposals here must be visible to anonymous readers and not rely alone on watchlists, Village Pumps, etc.

We need to target well our actions in order to get high signal vs noise ratios, and volumes we can digest. We could potentially reach huge audiences at en.wiki, but also get drowned with noise and a volume of requests we can't handle. Some ideas:

  • Agreeing on using the {{mediawiki}} template in Wikipedia pages about topics where we have also information related to them. Someone created it and I actually added it to a few pages as an experiment. Some kept it, but others (more popular and maintained, like "Git") reverted it: en:Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:MediaWiki
  • Adding more connections like "For the use of Jenkins in Wikimedia projects, see..."
  • Running targeted banners announcing our tech events (WMFr did some of this for the Wikimedia Hackathon in Lyon, I believe).
  • Have banners in specific pages for specific dates i.e. imagine a banner in en:Web testing to recruit volunteers for our next Browser testing QA week.

Event Timeline

Qgil created this task.Dec 31 2014, 2:23 PM
Qgil raised the priority of this task from to Low.
Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil added a project: Developer-Advocacy.
Qgil added subscribers: Aklapper, Qgil.
Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 26 2015, 10:20 PM
Aklapper set Security to None.

"Reaching out to potential technical contributors in Wikimedia projects" does not sound like a goal in itself but a step to some goal. :)

VP pages like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28technical%29 have top sections explaining some basics (no-one who is used to VPs will ever read them but they are hopefully read by a fraction of those who visit a VP for the first time) and could in theory also have some "Wikimedia is based on free software. Want to get involved?" item and a link to https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Developer_hub or https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Starter_kit or https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_become_a_MediaWiki_hacker (I get lost in the variety of pages).

If the community is in for adding such a link, of course.

Qgil renamed this task from Reaching out to potential technical contributors in Wikimedia projects to Reaching out to potential technical contributors among readers of Wikipedia et al.Aug 27 2015, 6:54 AM
Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil added subscribers: waldyrious, Nemo_bis.

I brought the original proposal here and I updated it. Most readers of Wikipedia don't know about Village Pumps, and therefor most potential technical contributors reading Wikipedia will not know either. This proposal is about reaching plain readers that never thought about contributing their technical skills to Wikimedia.

Aklapper added a comment.EditedAug 27 2015, 8:46 AM

Well, how is "Most readers of Wikipedia don't know about Village Pumps / never thought about contributing their technical skills" different from "Most readers of Wikipedia don't know that you can edit it / never thought about contributing their knowledge by editing articles" etc.?
And which (successful?) approaches have been taken to turn more readers into editors etc., and are some of these approaches applicable to nurture "technical contributors"?

Samtar added a subscriber: Samtar.Sep 1 2015, 10:01 PM
This comment was removed by Samtar.

Want to draw @Moushira's attention to this.

Would this task be a good topic for the Wikimedia-Developer-Summit (2017) ? If so, the deadline to submit new proposals is next Monday, October 31: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/Call_for_participation

Qgil raised the priority of this task from Low to Normal.Sep 12 2017, 9:32 AM

After all this time, this goal is still relevant. Quoting our Onboarding New Developers annual plan program:

Objective 4: Conduct research into how to increase diversity of volunteer developers. With targeted research, we hope to increase both the number and diversity of our volunteer developer community. Research areas will include evaluating programs, events, activities, groups, and media which we might join or partner with to meet these goals. We will look into how to take advantage of Wikipedia’s popularity and large base of readers and donors.

Samtar removed a subscriber: Samtar.Jul 6 2018, 1:23 PM