Hi everyone: Please use this space to raise questions, post news, share stories, start discussions, or in general engage in conversations related to Wikipedia Regional Ambassadors.
You can also send questions to the Wikipedia Regional Ambassador Google Group mailing list at email@example.com or visit it on the web. Archive is not public, so either join the list or request to receive replies by e-mail.
Urgent questions facing Regional Ambassadors
These are questions which have been framed other places, appear to be important the function of the Regional Ambassadors, and have yet to be answered. When they come up in emails or discussion, they tend to disappear in the onrush of new communication. This cannot be allowed to happen, so here is a place to collect them, until they are answered, so that they will have a stable presence somewhere. Please leave this section at the top of the list, so that it's easy to SEE and respond to. This is not an ordinary discussion topic. I have placed the open questions I know about in priority order as I perceive it to be; feel free to change the order if you are so inclined. (Tom C.)
Explanation. The version of the Memorandum of Understanding which is to be used in the fall is the final document specifying to faculty what is expected of them when they become Wikipedia Teaching Fellows. A number of faculty have been waiting, some for weeks, to see this document, before they commit. It is becoming urgent that we meet their need, I think.
Q: Please, when might we have even a final draft, if not a final version, of this document? 188.8.131.52 19:05, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
A: NOW. See current version (Release Candidate 01?) on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:United_States_Education_Program/MOU
OBTAINING WIKIMEDIA EMAIL ADDRESSES
Explanation. This possibility has been raised a couple of time, and the idea appears to have gained approval. This might help give our email communications added "clout".
Q: What is the status of this idea? 184.108.40.206 19:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
+1 Mattsenate (talk) 19:36, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Last I heard, Annie said she'd ask Frank about this. Bob the Wikipedian (talk) 04:04, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Quick start editing for professors - a letter with 3 reference links
I just wrote this letter to a prof. about getting a quick start on editing for someone who's arranged to have a tutorial session with me this Friday. This gives her some well-written, focused material the dive into before we talk. One of the documents will be the core of our tutorial in face, as I mention. Just thought other RA's might find this useful. This all came from the [Bookshelf], by the way.
TomCloyd (talk) 05:41, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
...to the newly selected Regional Ambassadors! Annie Lin (talk) 23:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for this resource
I know that a lot of work is, and will be, going into this. Thanks for this resource, and for allowing us all to be a part of this very exciting initiative. I see great promise in what we're doing. Now we just have to make it happen. These pages will certainly help! TomCloyd (talk) 16:01, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
MOU for returning courses.
What is the protocol regarding Memorandums of Understanding for returning courses? That is, does each new semester of a course require a new MOU? Also the resource page notes that a new MOU is in the works, will all courses need to shift over to this forthcoming document? Maximilianklein (talk) 18:00, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
- We're in the process of drafting the new MOU... it will be signed (online) for each course by everyone in the pod: the instructor, the Campus Ambassadors, and the Online Ambassadors (who, in the new pod structure, will sign on at the class level, not the individual student level). And yes, it'll need to be signed by returning courses.--Sage Ross (talk) 20:32, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Could this page be moved to Wikipedia US Regional Ambassadors, as it does not include many others of us?Leutha (talk) 11:14, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
- This is expanding from a US program to a US+Canada program with the hopes that it is expanded to other areas --Guerillero 16:06, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Do you seriously expect many Canadians to be interested in becoming regional ambassadors if you decide arbitrarily to close down English Wikipedia over some parochial U.S. political dispute? Do you think Canadian, British, Indian, etc., university professors will be inclined to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool if its functioning depends on the whims of a bunch of Yanks who can't see beyond their own borders?
This closure is one of the most moronic actions I have ever seen taken by people over the age of ten. It won't achieve any positive result. All it will do is insult non-American users, and damage the reputation of Wikipedia as an objective institution.
DOwenWilliams (talk) 03:04, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
A good idea but not the problem
I think this is a good idea but IMO its not going to solve all the problems. Unfortunately, for many reasons, Wikipedia is developing and cultivating an atmosphere of uncivil behavior, assumptions of bad faith and just generally a lack of patience when dealing with new editors. The read and learn all the policies before making your first edit approach isn't very realistic. In the case of this particular idea, what will end up happening is the same thing that will end up happening with the idea of the Campus ambassadors. We'll recruit a whole bunch of eager a well intentioned editors and then run them off with uncivil behavior. Only in this case the ones we are running off aren't the students but the professors and they have a lot of nubile young minds to influence away from WP. I think if we are going to do something like this we need to start dealing with the uncivil behavior or this good idea just might end up backfiring. --Kumioko (talk) 13:34, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
- Kumioko. I agree with most of your points. Busy professors and students are needed specifically for increasing the quality of the articles on Wikipedia. That inevitably involves resolving content disputes. That often devolves into incivility, even on the part of admins. And it is getting worse, not better in my opinion. Also, there is no real method for resolving content disputes. It is oftentimes a matter of who waits out the other the longest. Busy professors and students don't have this kind of time in many cases. See:
- en:Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#A noticeboard about rude, abusive, or policy-abusing admins
- en:User:Timeshifter/More articles and less editors --Timeshifter (talk) 17:25, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
The rest of the world
For historical reasons, much talk of ambassadors in general, and regional ambassadors in particular, focuses on the USA (or at least North America). I think it would be appropriate for outreach.wikimedia.org to try to reach out to other parts of the world. What do you think? (I'd love to help on the European side...) Bobrayner (talk) 20:13, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
- Go for it. I am nominally the contact for about 15% of America and the entirety of support I have gotten from the WMF is a few phone calls and a meeting in a coffeehouse. I even had to buy my own coffee. This is an unfunded volunteer effort. If you want to be the Regional ambassador for say, all of Western Europe, then do it. The position is what you make of it. I personally am on call by phone and email to a few professors and I host a monthly Wikipedia meeting in my city. I also visit some other campus ambassadors here, but now that I know them it is more like meeting friends than having business meetings. Everything I do now is what I was doing before I was a regional ambassador. Just do what you like and if it makes you happy to have a title or if you think other people would be happier if you have a title then give yourself a title. Copy existing US pages and set up a European page for yourself, and if you have questions or concerns, post them or otherwise get in touch. How does that sound? Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:17, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
- Groovy; thanks. (I had drafted a post which said "Europe? Yoink! I'm the boss of Europe now" but had second thoughts as it seemed too presumptuous ;-) Bobrayner (talk) 10:19, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
- When you have a draft then share it. If you have not already done an online ambassadorship, then consider taking one up, and if you can meet a professor afk and convince them to take up Wikipedia, then do that. There are some mailing lists in addition to the boards, but the boards have quite enough information to get started. If you want to talk by voice, I would be happy to make an appointment to call you in Europe by phone or we could Skype/ Google Hangout. If you have time and interest in doing this, there are plenty of people around who can help you give it a good try. Good luck. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:28, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
- Bob, I would like to encourage you to get in touch with Jami Mathewson at WMF. I'm having a somewhat lengthy email conversation with her about onboarding to some form of ambassadorship and I've found her to be easy to work with. Even if she's not the right person at WMF, I'm sure that she'd know who you can contact about ambassadorship in Europe. Jami's email is on on this page. Pine(talk) 02:53, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- I would be happy if I can be ambassador, but otherwise I do not want to pass other users who are more active with this subject in Europe and who I respect very much. Not sure what to do. Romaine (talk) 16:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- My personal view is that the more (good) ambassadors, the better. There is plenty of work to be done! I would encourage you to contact Jami if you're interested. Hopefully she can direct you to the right person. Pine(talk) 20:04, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- I encourage you to contact Jami also, but the position is what you make of it. There are not a lot of paid staff anywhere in the world to manage this as the WMF is a rather small organization. Jami is handling the entire national program in the US and has many duties besides dealing with campus ambassadors, although she is available when needed. She does not even have a secretary or assistant, if you can believe that. The issue is not about going to schools with any permission from WMF, but about going to schools just because you want to do this and because the teachers want you there. A good start to being an ambassador might be just meeting other Wikipedians in your community in person and having a regular chat. To me, being an ambassador just means talking to people about Wikipedia and being sometimes available for questions from people who are geographically close to me. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:35, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Professor orientation module 3
I boldly edited Wikipedia Professor Orientation/Module Three. Perhaps others may want to review my edits or contribute their own. Pine(talk) 07:59, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
need private sandbox
My group now has 30 members and we'd like to have a private sandbox so we can practice technique. Can that be arranged? 220.127.116.11 06:59, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
- Create a page in your personal userspace or on your group's page and designate it as a sandbox, perhaps by having the word "sandbox" in the name of the link. Then inform the members of your group that your sandbox is there. There is more information at en:Wikipedia:About_the_Sandbox. If you have trouble then share your name or group name and I or someone else will help you. 18.104.22.168 13:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Kevin Gorman in California
I have been regional ambassador for both California and the Pacific Northwest for a while. user:Kevin Gorman wanted California so I gave it to him. user:Guerillero gave Kevin course coordinator rights. Elsewhere, user:ragesoss and user:ktr101 gave input into this and said that it seemed not inappropriate. If anyone else has comments then please share. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:15, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
- On second thought - this, like any other community action, merits community discussion. "Kevin Gorman is proposed" as a coordinator in California and until and unless there is some kind of community process for this, he should not be named as the contact. This is a transparency measure. Thanks Kevin for volunteering. I regret that I will be traveling for the next month and cannot participate further in this discussion. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:42, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
- I thought that regional ambassadors are being assigned by WMF. Let me ask Jami for comment. --Pine✉ 07:13, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
- Sorry, Pine. There was also an email thread going about this, and I said that of course it's fine if Kevin wants to be a Regional Ambassador. I know he specifically wanted to work in that role with the Berkeley classes, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Also, the community can definitely make smart decisions like this :). Jmathewson (talk) 19:34, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
- OK then. I'm not sure what kind of community process we need. Let me ping Ragesoss and Ktr101 to ask if they will sign here to support Kevin for RA. I took a brief look at his editing history and he seems OK from what I can tell. --Pine✉ 21:57, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
- I saw this a few minutes ago, but I wasn't sure. I'll go ahead and endorse him, although I am currently unsure if he has formally accepted the position (I almost edited the page earlier this month, but I was unsure). Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:03, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
This seems like a good opportunity to start moving the whole Regional Ambassadors infrastructure to Wikipedia. I suggest that we port over the list of RAs, and then set up a lightweight procedure for requesting the course coordinator on the education noticeboard, for anyone who wants to do RA-like activities (such as Kevin's case of wanting to help professors in the Bay Area get started). Speaking individually, I certainly endorse Kevin, but I don't think any community-based process like this should be based on Outreach, and we're long overdue for moving over the RA stuff anyway.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 22:38, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
- That makes sense to me. Biosthmors (talk) 22:10, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
- I'm not sure about doing this on en.wiki. Regions don't necessarily correspond to languages in a one-to-one ratio. I would welcome a regional ambassador whose native language is a language other than English particularly if they do their ambassador work where that language is advantageous. I can see this getting tricky though because the Course Coordinator right we're talking about is for ENWP and to my knowledge that education extension doesn't apply to other wikis. Still, I think the best thing to do would be keep the RA discussions here but post announcements on whichever language Wikipedias are most relevant. --Pine✉ 07:50, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
- My only objection is that putting it on Wiki would subject it to Wiki politics, and we all know how that works. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 20:04, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
- At this point, the US and Canada Regional Ambassadors just work with English Wikipedia. (If some end up working on other languages, they should probably document their roles on those wikis as well.) Hardly anyone visits Outreach regularly, and organizing things here is a big barrier to the en.wiki community for being involved. That was only a modest problem when it was, for all practical purposes, WMF choosing Regional Ambassadors and defining their roles. But if the US and Canada programs on en.wiki are going to be community projects, then community processes like choosing Regional Ambassadors need to happen on en.wiki. (For a bit of background on my perspective here, see meta:Not my wiki.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
- We can quickly do a cross-wiki link from ENWP, FRWP, ESWP, or any other language wiki into Outreach. I think that having ESWP or FRWP users go to ENWP to comment on an RA nomination is a worse option since I think the expectation will be that if the RAs are nominated on ENWP then the discussions about RA assignments will also be in English. This shouldn't be the case. I feel that having the discussions here on Outreach is less likely to create an unnecessary expectation that discussions will be in English. --Pine✉ 22:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)