WMNYC connectionsEdit

> JH> Same for calendars. When a WMNYC colleagues enters a > new event in the Chapter's calendar, I and other Board > members will see it next time we look in our own calendars

SF> It's a Wiki then.

No. Insiders like me and Richard and Meghan copy much of this information, manually, to and from a Wikipedia page, because many Wikipedians are accustomed to seeing it that way. The Google calendars of Wikimedia NYC are more restricted, partly due to permissions administered by our Secretary, and partly because fewer people know about them. Not that they're a secret from anyone, but they're a bore for outsiders.

To make my particular calendar as seen when I turn on my smart phone or log into the Google Calendar Web site, the Google Calendar system mixes information from various sources. For me, close to half of the events are from the WMNYC calendars to which I am subscribed. Others, I enter myself, mostly personal events like the Kings Byte meeting next Tuesday. If KB wanted to make a Google Calendar, I would subscribe and get the events entered automatically.

As it happens, a few minutes ago when I entered the KB evening event manually, I noticed that a daytime event had already been entered automatically. This will be the Wikidata celebration and panel discussion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC/Met_2018

I expect to do less teaching than I often do at WMNYC events, in part because this is one of my many areas of Wiki-ignorance, and in part because it isn't mainly a teaching event. Probably I'll sneak out early in order to stop at home before going to Brooklyn.

The local Board of Directors and a few other insiders use Slack for a weekly online "Office Hours" chat every Tuesday evening. Usually only a minority participate. I'll be in Brooklyn with the club, and no problem if I miss the WMNYC thing but perhaps KB will want to look over my shoulder as I go into that chat.

Slack offers several other services for small to moderate sized businesses and clubs, as does Google Small Business, with much overlap. WMNYC uses a little of each. Originally our online meetings were in Gsuite Video but we ran into a numeric participation limit and changed to Slack typing.

Other parts of the Wikimedia empire have other sharing forums including E-mail groups, IRC chats, Facebook groups, Twitter and so forth. This kind of diversity has the disadvantage of fragmenting discussion so we often don't know what we should from other forums. It has the advantage that their software for these purposes is much more advanced than any Wiki software. Each has its own technical advantages and disadvantages, and each brings a somewhat overlapping set of participants.

> JH> Occasionally I have been the one who adds or edits the event. > For a while, I kept getting my personal and club events mixed up, > so my friends knew when I would go to the dentist, for example. > Been more alert about which is which, for most of last year.

SF> You have two lists and didn't keep straight what list was what?

Yes, sort of. Some Google Calendars are private; others are subscribed and I didn't tell the Google Calendar software which one I wanted to post in, so it went into the one I was last using. For a week from Tuesday, my calendar is showing overlapping events in different colors for the different source calendars.

Editathon failureEdit

In March 2018 I commented on WP:ACTRIAL and ended up saying something relevant to the failures of editathons. Sometimes it pays to be cute about a serious topic; my words were quoted in the much more widely read Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-04-26/Special report. Jim.henderson (talk) 23:44, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Pamphlet for newbiesEdit

An introductory pamphlet has been suggested, to hand out at edit-athons. I started my version here, then transferred to User:Jim.henderson/Who is Wikipedia, hoping for criticisms, suggestions, and improvements in the Wiki-editing tradition. Language is to be breezy, more like Wikivoyage than like WP where we try to speak with the Voice of God. However, other intro pamphlets have been written in past years. I ought to study them.

Former WMNYC Board memberEdit

I don't want the job. I am proud to be a good trooper but in the past two years I've learned I'm a poor officer. Meetings of a dozen mostly more capable leaders where I'm supposed to say something useful make me nervous; they sap my confidence. Everyone shows respect for my contributions, and tolerance when I offer a bad idea, but it doesn't help. I don't feel I'm pulling my weight.

I'm a poor organizer, so, for organizing edit-a-thons or practically anything with more than a handful of people, I am not a good choice. Walking around, stopping to answer questions from the intelligent but ignorant and to coach one-on-one, is great fun because I do it well. Especially when the newbies are scientists or librarians or someone else even smarter than our usual customers. Sometimes I do well with two or three at a time, and perhaps I can develop that into an ability to lecture.

Same for building membership. I haven't the slightest idea how to do that, but when methods are found I'll be glad to follow. What I have been doing is picking a few of the newbies I have been coaching, and inviting them to a monthly dinner in Brooklyn Heights along with members of an old computer club whose numbers dwindled in the past decade to half a dozen. We chat, dine, smear some gravy on each other's keyboards, and learn a few tricks of the Wiki-trade.

I wrote that before the 2018 Annual meeting, when I was still in. Now I'm out; the record is at Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC for now.

Monthly skillshareEdit

April 17, 2019 we had our monthly meeting. They have become bigger, but in my opinion they have a serious imbalance which has only gotten worse. That is, they are almost entirely about organizational matters. Things like how well we did last month, what we're doing next month, upcoming elections to the master Wikimedia Foundation, etc. Moderately boring to me (that's one reason why I'm not on the Board of Directors anymore) and not useful to the most important audience: newcomers. One newbie politely complained that the promised skill share didn't happen. He's right; it should happen. Others have either complained to me privately or told me of friends who attended one meeting, found it lacking in this regard, and did not return.

The monthly meeting is already too long for the comfort of some members. It is definitely as long as our current landlord will allow, so I do not propose to add an early or late extension. If the organization meeting is to be shortened, it shouldn't be for this reason. Instead, we should have a separate session. Possibly simultaneously in another, smaller room, but more likely a second monthly skill share directed mainly at newbies.

Far as I see, edit-athons are our main recruiting ground. Our host organizations publicize them by using a topical focus, which generally encourages people to attempt a new article, particularly a biography of the living. The least experienced thereby get the toughest job.

Those who found hope, pleasure and understanding from the experience can go to another session with a different topical focus, and sit through the same introductory lecture. That's pretty much a wasted, boring half hour, especially when they hear it a third time. We also tell them how to find all our events (also a less than perfect matter) but when they come to the monthly, they get nothing. Everyone is talking familiarly about matters they don't understand or have a reason to care about. The main thing they need is a chance to learn more of the technical and social aspects of editing. How to judge a good reference, how to weave articles together by links, how to dispute content without sparking explosions, things like that.

There wouldn't be the usual lecture with Five Pillars and Conflict of Interest and such, as long as the majority have already had it. If several have pretty nearly the same questions, then yes we do a long answer but not one requiring slides or other prep work. We could try publicizing a particular technical matter, such as article intros or pictures or Wikidata for some sessions or many, thus requiring a short lecture. Short, thus not taking much time from coaching and, well, sharing skills learned recently or long ago.

Not quite every month. March for example is always crammed; all hands on deck for edit-athons, and in the summer many of the experienced are out of town and others would rather do outdoor things. But, we should do something like this, several times a year and publicized (invited) at edit-athons.