Activities/Britain Loves Wikipedia/Diagnosis

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What could have worked better with Britain Loves Wikipedia 2009, and how could it be improved in 2010?

Aims of the event
  • Tension between "very good but few" photographs (primarily museum-driven due to need for checking) and "many but average quality" (good for publicity and maximum number of Wikipedia articles improved, but not so useful in the long-run)
    • Can we push the museums away from checking every photo - they don't have to, and don't do so for existing photos on Wikimedia
  • Having seperate website good, but doesn't naturally lead to participation on Commons or Wikipedia.
    • Delay between uploading photos and being able to use them on Wikipedia
Manpower and volunteer resources
  • Hinged too much one one person - multiple people needed next year
  • Needs a separate person 'managing' the process, probably from the board, rather than that being the same person that is doing everything (unable to see forest for trees)
  • Need clear task list allocated to different people with a timeline for getting things done. Need frequent meetings to make sure that they are getting done.
  • Difficult to get things accomplished by volunteers on short notice
  • This year: had a fair amount of money (£2000), but no clear plan to spending it, resulting in less efficient spending or not spending it
  • Need to set out what needs funding from the outset, and how much each item will cost, for approval by the board. Then need to stick with it and spend the money on those things
Museum involvement
  • Two-pronged approach this year resulted in different sets of information being kept in two locations; neither set containing all necessary information
  • Process too up a lot of time - both with Mike, and with the CollectionsTrust - not easily scalable (plus detracted from other activities this year)
    • Path to get involved needs to be much clearer
    • Need to list needed information earlier on in the process so that it can be done by submission of a form, rather than a series of emails
      • Need to know: flash photography rules, tripod rules, areas in the museum where photography is/isn't allowed, when access is allowed (all month or specific days - if latter then reason needed), special access that can be arranged for focus days (and which dates are possible), number of participants expected (and hence leaflet and badge numbers)
      • Information needs to be collated centrally - e.g. on an organizer's wiki - rather than being kept on individual computers
    • Set up a (closed) mailing list for participating museums with wikimedia volunteers present, so that they can discuss/share approaches and information, also reducing the need to separately email individual locations
  • Most museums joined in the event late. Partly due to timing of getting the information out. Either need for this not to happen, or reduce organizational barriers so that this isn't a problem.
    • Define a soft deadline for being involved - e.g. those that join in after the end of 2010 won't be on the main press releases and may not get copies of the leaflets
  • Obtained fewer prizes in the end than desired
  • Need to have a more focused effort to get these earlier on in the process.
    • Construct a standard contact email / letter / phone call on wiki
    • Set out list of possible organizations, and systematically contact them all
  • Could have 'Wikimedia' prizes to make the competition more special, rather than generic - e.g. T-shirts, barnstars, Wikipedia globes, etc.
  • Launch event in V&A was in two rooms, neither of which were excessively busy as people were out in the museum
    • In future, focus organizational activity on one area + the museum itself
  • Event was before the peak in numbers of people visiting the event
    • Have talks in afternoon, rather than mornings. Define what people will be talking about more clearly.
  • Need to make optimal appeal and use of all 5 'sectors': print (newspapers/magazines), radio, tv, internet and within museums
  • Press release went out late due to problems collating all of the information
    • Next year: could do a multi-pronged approach
      • Press release early on announcing the event, but not the details. National media, including photography magazines.
      • Second press release embargoed until 31 January 2011, with complete details of all museums. National + local media.
      • Individual press release templates prepared for museums to distribute to local media about their involvement
      • Possible alternative: 'drizzle' information out throughout January, announcing museums separately in groups by a series of blog posts
  • Leaflet was also late for same reasons. Also cost more due to different versions
    • Have one version, aimed at getting people to the website. Could be in form of a business card, or A5 leaflet only. This will minimize volunteer time and printing costs, and will make it easier to produce.
    • However, need to communicate museum-specific rules somehow... (don't photograph in gallery N, don't photograph private loans, etc.)
  • Use of Twitter, facebook etc. was unplanned and semi-spontaneous.
    • Twitter: need to define hash tag early on and concentrate activity. Need to make it easy for participants to tweet about the event.
    • Facebook: could use facebook events to see who will be coming to events put on by each museum
    • Even if we have a seperate upload system, worth having a Flickr group for the event for the community there?
  • Need to contact local organizations early on to let them know about the event (partially done through museums?)
  • Currently nothing to identify participants in museums, and no reason for them to go to the front desk and say they're participating (so footfall can be measured
    • Do Britain Loves Wikipedia badges next year, available from participating museums only?
  • Organizers of events need to be more identifiable at museums - have BLW T-shirts?
Other bits
  • Website needs to be interactive, rather than just information-providing (web 1.0 but with a wiki?)