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The Wikipedia Contribution Team is a group of editors who are part of the Wikimedia Foundation's outreach effort to the English Wikipedia community. The Contribution Team is working to increase the number of editors making quality contributions to our articles and to improve overall contributions to the project.
The English Wikipedia thrives upon its reputation for having good quality articles on a wide array of topics. Currently however, we aren't doing a good enough job of encouraging readers to become editors - most new editors are dissuaded by the complexity of the community, or confused as to how they could help. This team will be working to help change that, which has obvious benefits for the long-term health of Wikipedia. One of the stated goals of the fundraiser was to increase the number of editors, and our support will allow the Foundation to achieve that goal faster than it otherwise would. This will in turn improve the quality of articles on English Wikipedia, bring new editors into the community, and further the project's goals. Finally, it will be an opportunity for interested editors to work more closely with WMF staff.
How is the team structured?
Although the project is initially being organized by a few members of the Foundation staff, this is intended to be a volunteer-owned project. The Contribution Team will have a list of tasks that need to be accomplished suggested by the Foundation -- some of them being one-shot, such as individual 'learn to edit' events, while others will be ongoing and able to be performed by multiple people simultaneously. The team is not, however, limited to just those tasks suggested by the office staff. The Foundation staff works with and through the team as full and equal members. Like most things on Wikipedia, editors are encouraged to step up and take the reins to help organize the project and suggest new ideas and new tasks. Team members can suggest new goals, new tasks and projects, and will be helped to find the funding or other support needed to accomplish them. We want to determine a basic framework together, and then let the team structure the organization however works best.
Foundation staff will be actively working alongside editors on this project: we will be holding meetings with individuals, adding to and updating the task list, and keeping track of what works/doesn't work and logging outreach efforts. The rest is up to the individual editors on the team. Editors are freely invited to "edit this team" by suggesting new tasks, figuring out what kind of organization works best, doing their own recruitment and outreach, etc.
How can the WMF staff assist you?
There are several WMF staff members either primarily or partially involved in this effort, who will be available for questions, suggestions, brainstorms, complaints, etc. The Foundation and individual chapters will have resources available to assist editors in their outreach efforts -- for instance, if an editor wanted to organize a learn to edit session at their university, the Foundation may be able to support that by giving that editor some branded merchandise and giveaways, thank-you cards, etc. Some small expenses incurred can also be reimbursed by the WMF or a local chapter. If you have a suggestion how the office staff can help, please do not hesitate to ask any staff member listed on this page.
How can you assist the WMF staff?
There are a number of ways that you can help the office out. That includes working on the task list, taking ownership of 'orphaned' tasks, and brainstorming new tasks. We also would like to spread awareness of the project through our social networks -- both online and offline. We'll be creating some sample messages/talking points/data to that end as well. Other ways include identifying and working with WikiProjects that may be able to spread on-wiki awareness, and brainstorming new ways that we can improve contributions both financial and otherwise.
Most importantly though, you should come up with your own methods. Make ideas and suggestions, ask a staff member what they need or how they can help, or if your idea would benefit them. We'll be available to you for all of this.