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Voting begins for steering committee[edit]

The voting phase for the Wikipedia Ambassador Steering Committee election started this week, and will continue through 27 April. Because there are just six candidates for seven positions, the voting process will serve as a referendum to make sure the rest of the ambassadors are broadly supportive of these candidates; all six are active participants in or supporters of the ambassador program, and as a whole they bring a broad set of experience and perspectives to the committee. The current plan, barring significant opposition, is for these six candidates to constitute the new steering committee, with the seventh slot left open for someone else who steps forward later on (who could be put before the ambassadors similarly to make sure there isn't strong opposition).

Please vote, and ask any questions you have for the candidates!

Seeking more Regional Ambassadors in the US[edit]

We are still looking for Regional Ambassadors for the United States! The deadline has been extended to Friday, April 29th. We encourage you to apply even if you feel you do not meet all the qualifications! Here are a few benefits for taking on this role:

  • Close, personal leadership and management coaching
  • Significant resume boost. We'd be more than happy to provide letters of recommendation to good Regional Ambassadors down the line too.
  • Invitation (and free travel) to some key Wikimedia events!
Map of the US regions we're recruiting Regional Ambassadors for

We are particularly looking for Regional Ambassadors for the following regions (see here for more information about all the regions), although we encourage you to apply regardless of your geographic region:

  • Region 1 (Northeast)
  • Region 3 (DC)
  • Region 5 (Midwest)
  • Region 6 (Lake area + non-continental)
  • Region 7 (South)
  • Region 9 (Central Plains area)
  • Region 10 (Northwest)
  • Region 12 (Southern California)

A more detailed email about this has also been sent out via the Ambassadors Google Group and the Ambassadors talk page.

India pilot being organized now[edit]

Plans are currently underway for a pilot expansion of the Wikipedia Ambassador Program – in India! Hisham Mundol and other Wikimedia staff have begun recruiting Campus Ambassador candidates for Pune, which has a dense and diverse cluster of colleges and universities. Expect a wave of classes in India to begin around June or July. To learn more about the Pune pilot plans, check out the revised FAQ on Outreach Wiki. We also hope to get started in Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere in the near future.

So great job to all of you – current Wikipedia Ambassadors – your work has been so amazing that people from other parts of the world are starting to copy and adapt it! You are the pioneers in this rapidly globalizing movement.

Document DYK, peer review and other milestone at the trophy case[edit]

If students you are working with (or any others you notice) are doing work that makes to DYK, is nominated for Good Article status, or is just solid content worth marking, then please help us document the students' success at the trophy case. The leaderboard is also active, tracking how much students and courses have contributed so far this term, and listing the most active articles students are working on. They've contributed well over a million bytes of content so far this term! (If you notice any problems with the leaderboard, or have suggestions for improving it, please pass your comments on to Sage.)

Ambassador program at Wikimania[edit]

We're planning a set of Wikipedia Ambassador Program presentations for Wikimania 2011, in Haifa this August. It will feature both Wikimedia Foundation staff and ambassadors, and whether you're going to Wikimania or not, we'd love your input on the presentation plans. Help us figure out how to spread the word to other Wikimedians!

And if you're going to Wikimania, or thinking about going, let the Public Policy Initiative team know if you haven't already.

Changes to mailing list[edit]

The Public Policy Initiative team created the program's Google Group mailing list early on with the goal of communicating critical information about the program, as well as providing a venue for ambassadors to share best practices and classroom experiences, discuss problems (e.g., with students or professors) that shouldn't be detailed publicly, and get know each other. However, it's never quite worked out as well as we hoped; early on, the list tended to go off on detailed tangents and was dominated by experienced Wikipedians rather than Campus Ambassadors who were new to the community. And the volume of posts to the list quickly became overwhelming for many ambassadors, drastically reducing its effectiveness for reaching everyone about the more important stuff.

As a first step to improving the program's communication methods, we're creating a new list reserved for key announcements and news, which we'd like all ambassadors to be subscribed to. So even if you filter out messages from the Google Group, please do read what comes from "Ambassador-announce-l", which will be activated soon. Everyone currently part of the Google Group will be subscribed. Discussions are continuing about what else can be done to improve our communication patterns; if you have ideas or strong feelings, please share them!