Submissions/Covering the Wikimedia Community

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 2081 - C6
Title of the submission
Covering the Wikimedia Community
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)

Panel, discussion

Author of the submission

Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado)

Language of presentation


E-mail address

Country of origin

United States

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia DC, Wikimania

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

With Wikimedia volunteers spanning time zones, geography, languages and projects, how might we best capture the pulse of activity inside this distributed community and accurately report on it, both internally and to the outside world?

The session will discuss and reflect on the state of "the media" of covering our community, given the reduced publishing schedule of The Signpost and the inactivity of traditional communications channels, such as Wikimedia-L mailing list.


  • Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado) - Wikipedia Weekly, Wikimedia DC
  • Melody Kramer (User:MKramer_(WMF)) - Wikimedia Foundation communications team
  • Robert Fernandez (User:Gamaliel) - Wikimedia District of Columbia, former editor-in-chief, Wikipedia Signpost

The Wikimedia movement is facing new challenges in community communications - outlets such as The Signpost have diminished in activity, while the official Wikimedia Blog has expanded its activities, and GLAM and Wikidata-specific newsletters have kept the community informed. Discussion on the Wikimedia-L mailing list continues to be sparse, while discussion groups on Facebook fill the void.

However, the reliance on proprietary social media platforms for high engagement (Wikipedia Weekly, Wikimedia social hub Facebook groups, for example) also come with their own problems in being compatible with the community's notions of openness and inclusiveness. Platforms that are more open, but much less popular, such as Discourse, have failed to take off.

What have been the challenges in covering this community and how effective has this been to keep our community in touch with its own voices? How might we improve our community news process for the future? How do our on-wiki discussion pages co-exist with these multiple channels of communication that have emerged in recent years?

The panel of community members and Wikimedia's communications team discuss the current state of covering the community and how we might revitalize this slowing part of our community.

Some issues to discuss:

  • How well have The Signpost, Wikipedia Weekly and various newsletters done reporting on the breadth of community matters?
  • How well are cross-wiki, multilingual issues reported?
  • Have these outlets been fair, diverse and comprehensive in reporting on the movement?
  • Is the traditional stance at odds with the increasing use of social media for our own movement communications?
  • What types of missing reporting are most urgently needed?

This topic has been addressed at previous conferences:

What will attendees take away from this session?

Attendees will have a better understanding of the issues involved with maintaining a "community conversation" and help determine how we might improve efforts in this area, as we adjust to an era of social media.

Theme of presentation
  • WikiCulture & Community
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes + 25 minutes discussion
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

Interested attendees

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  1. Schiste (talk) 07:52, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
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  3. אומנות (talk) 17:29, 13 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
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