What would a WMUK Signpost-style newsletter look like?

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There's been a little discussion on the UK list about the WMUK monthly reports and how we can make them more inspiring.

What would you like from a monthly newsletter? Should all of the content be written by volunteers? What kind of features would it have? How would it look? Let's sketch out some ideas here. Thanks. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 15:48, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Is Signpost the best example, or would WMDE's newspaper (Wikendium?) be better inspiration? I have no idea what's in the WMDE one because my German isn't up to it, but it looks very impressive. --Tango (talk) 17:27, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps - but paper is very expensive, and they have a much larger comms team and a larger volunteer base so we wouldn't be able to replicate that. Perhaps we could do it digitally. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 17:31, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I'll ask lots of questions about this when I go to Berlin next month. I'll add that in the members' survey, the vast majority of respondents wanted a digital version. Plus, saving money and trees can only be a good thing - we'll have to invest time in making the design and content really high quality to ensure people feel it has an added value, even if it isn't a physical publication.Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 11:46, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Though it takes after the Signpost in many respects, MilHist's The Bugle might be worth a look for inspiration. It has a slightly different format and some different content. And of course outreach:TMIG. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:04, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Email version[edit | edit source]

I agree that we should make a community and/or members' newsletter available in a Signpost format, but it would be good if this could be delivered via email to people individually, rather than just via user talk pages and the wikimedia-uk list, as we want to draw in more people who are less familiar/regularly engaged with the community. I think it would be excellent if the newsletter was on wiki, but was prefaced by an email template sent to individuals that looked well designed and had short excerpts, linking to the full edition on wiki. This has the added advantage of drawing those less familiar with our site onto it. Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 11:46, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Editorial[edit | edit source]

OI would hope we could find interested individuals responsible for finding and writing/organising content to cover key topics, rather than staff writing all of the copy. Key features the members survey suggested people would like to see were -

  • Highlights of events
  • Update pieces from the Office
  • Opinion pieces about the Chapter's work
  • Highlights of on wiki discussions/debates

I would also like to have a section of images in there (whether focusing on copyright debates, or highlighting key work relating to commons).

If we could collect a group of people interesting in producing one key piece of anywhere between 200 - 500 words a month, then this would a) save staff time and b) really open up the newsletter to a diverse range of perspectives and content. Anybody keen, perhaps indicate here? Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 11:46, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Ask relevant WikiProjects[edit | edit source]

One of the risks of a chapter is that you can sometimes get a long way from the content. Now I appreciate that not eveyone who edits in the UK has any interest in editing UK topics, but there is something of a correlation, so I would posit that news from UK Wikiprojects such as West Mids and London would be of interest in these reports. So I would suggest posting an invitation on the talkpages of such projects for people to submit a paragraph on what their WikiProject is doing and what it hopes to do. WereSpielChequers (talk) 12:03, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Good shout - I really like this idea :) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 12:15, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Volunteer content contributions[edit | edit source]

Something that's really important for a resource like this to have real benefits and to really give the community a voice is the level of content contribution from volunteers. I think it's crucial that the bulk of the content comes from the community and not just from staff. I'd be really interested to get a sense of how much appetite there is from within our community of volunteers and editors with regards to committing to writing articles and features, providing multimedia content and getting involved in the design. If we have a few people willing to offer one article or feature a month - more, if you like, but doesn't need to be more - then we can really move this on. If you're interested and willing to commit to being on the "editorial board" (apologies for the clunky phrasing) then please sign below and we can begin to take things forward. Thank you! --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:59, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

I completely agree that would be the ideal situation, but we shouldn't let a desire for perfection delay something good. We can always start with something fairly basic and then add to it in later editions. Also, staff contribution is important too—the newsletter could be a chance for staff to tell the community who they are and what they do in their own words, and perhaps what they're working on in later issues.

I'd be happy to copy-edit, but I can't commit to much more than that atm. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 09:19, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Some more suggestions[edit | edit source]

I was speaking with Harry at the weekend about this topic and he had some really useful suggestions regarding content and delivery. One of the main points was the idea to create or utilise a bot to deliver the content to user talk pages across all projects, particularly EN:WP. The idea behind this is that many people who aren't on the UK mailing list may find areas such as the UK wiki a bit out of the way. Another reason for this is that many user talk pages are watched by quite a lot of users. If there is a working bot we would just need to feed in the user pages into the bot and program it to deliver the content. It's important that we offer an unsubscribe link. It isn't enough to just distribute this via the UK mailing list. We have a list of prominent user pages that we can use as the first tranche. As far as content goes we could include features about recent featured articles and content developments. We could also include details of how many articles have reached FA / GA in the last month with input from UK-based editors. It is also worthwhile including features written by staff about recent projects as well as a staff member biography each month. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 13:17, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Oh, I meant to point you to m:Global message delivery, which uses EdwardsBot and (I think) delivers to all Wikimedia wikis. The instructions there look reasonably simple. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:14, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

First Members Newsletter[edit | edit source]

Is now up on the wiki and has been emailed to members. Please feedback what you want to improve - there is lots we want to add over time, PARTICULARLY more members and volunteers writing sections themselves. Suggestions about automation, templates etc would be welcome - basically any help appreciated. Do also mention what you liked (if anything!) so we know what works for you :) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 11:54, 18 January 2013 (UTC)