Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learnings from the Simple Annual Plan Grantee's first 6 months.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Methods and activities
- 2.1 Online Community
- 2.2 Program Staffing
- 2.3 Further refinement of the reporting process
- 2.4 Further outreach
- 2.5 March 2017 Edit-a-thons (The Event!)
- 3 Midpoint outcomes
- 4 Finances
- 5 Dashboard Report
- 6 Next steps and opportunities
- 7 Grantee reflection
For it’s fourth-annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Art+Feminism supported over 2,500 participants in 200 events across 6 continents for a record-breaking year of editing and creating pages for women in the arts. We are heartened by the efforts of Art + Feminism participants in 42 countries and we are especially inspired by the ways organizers emphasized intersectional feminisms, both in the content edited and the organizing efforts. Nearly 6500 pages were created or improved on Wikipedia, almost twice the output of 2016 events.
We could not have achieved any of these goals without the addition to our team of a Program Coordinator dedicating on average 24 hours/week to organization, strategy and goal setting. This brings the total number of lead co-organizers to four: Siân Evans, Jacqueline Mabey, McKensie Mack, and Michael Mandiberg.
Methods and activities
Below you will find a list of our work so far, organized by the sections we created during our grant proposal.
One of our goals was to better engage our general community on social media and increase the self sufficient of the community of organizers through creating an online space for them.
Work completed so far
Tumblr, Twitter & Facebook: We became more active on our social media platforms, particularly Twitter and Facebook. One of our goals here was to better communicate who we are and what we care about as reflected by the materials we share. For example, our post on the Vogue article about the new president of United States Artists, Deana Haggag, and her mission to resist the Trump administration and protect the arts received 115 likes and 65 shares. Greater visibility on Twitter catalyzed events and gave space to visualize the work of organizers via retweets. We used Tumblr as a space to share our Statement of Values
Slack for Organizers: Our use of Slack has been highly successful as well. It has created a to visual the community of organizers - in the #general channel - troubleshoot on wiki issues with more experienced editors - in the #firebrigade channel - and work through dashboard issues with Sage Ross in the #dashboard channel. We have also used a private channel for the lead co-organizers, saving us from being lost in emails.
As we entered our fourth year, we sought a Program Coordinator to support the exponential growth of our global initiative. We brought on McKensie Mack, who has dedicated on average 24 hours/week to organization, strategy and goal setting. This brings the total number of lead co-organizers to four: Siân Evans, Jacqueline Mabey, McKensie Mack, and Michael Mandiberg. We learned a lot about how to ethically perform a job search and how to collectively manage a Program Coordinator. As part of our final report, we hope to generate a Learning Outcomes out of our experiences, that will help other Wikimedia initiatives with the recruiting and onboarding process.
Work completed so far
The Art+Feminism team brought on a Program Coordinator, McKensie Mack: a management consultant, producer, and strategist specializing in community development, anti-oppression, and operational efficiency. She designs spaces and resources around anti-oppression and equity work. She focuses on the ways in which institutions develop cultures of well-being and dismantle systems of disempowerment. McKensie's aim is to work to amplify the growth of the A+F community in 2017, continue the development of meaningful partnerships with organizers and educators abroad, and establish pipelines for enhancing the ways Art and Feminism empowers collaborators and partners to claim space for people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ communities. In her free time, McKensie enjoys eating tacos while twirling to the beat of music composition and comedic performance and she's is delighted to join the Art and Feminism family. McKensie is fluent in three languages with two degrees in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. She is also one of the co-founders of Women Get It Done Chicago, a former finalist for the Red Eye Big Ideas Award (Tech), and a BHSI Fellowship and Crain's 30 Under 30 nominee. She is fluent in French, Spanish, and English; and has project management, program coordination, conflict management, and social justice experience around diversity and equity.
And McKensie has been a key part of our 2017 activities; we literally could not have done it with out her. Her work has pushed through a number of initiatives (Spanish language trainings, for example) and she continues to manage day to day operations while also helping us strategize for the future. We couldn't have onboarded a new process (the Dashboard) and maintain consistent levels of user participation without her! As well, she served as a key liaison to our Regional Ambassadors, and revitalized our core leadership group with new ideas and insights into existing processes.
We shared the posting on the Gender Gap list, on the WMNYC list, with WMDC, and with all of our Wikipedian allies, instructing all to share it far and wide. We purchased a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) posting, shared it widely to major library, and arts and tech listservs, and to our personal networks. These emails went viral, circulating on listservs around the world. Our post on Facebook went viral on Facebook as well; it was viewed over 70,000 times, and was shared over 300 times. It was even written up on a popular New York blog.
Time management & process
Number of Applicants and Date cut-off We reviewed 927 applications, well over the 100-200 we expected, given our experience on previous hiring committees. The applicants hailed from countries including Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, UK, Peru, and Serbia. We actually received far more than this, but ended up selecting a cut off date of December 9th (noted on all outreach emails as the date before which all applications received would get preference). We didn’t review any applications received after that date, both in the interest of our own time management and in the interest of making the process as swift as possible.
Process Overview Our process was as follows: after inputting each application into our CRM, we divided the applications between the three of us for initial review. We each read the application, and scored it between 0-5 based off of our job description, which required a flexible schedule and the following four qualifications:
- strong project management skills
- a demonstrated history of work in social justice and an interest in feminist work
- a working knowledge of the Wikipedia community or other online technology community
- Fluency in a language other than English is preferred
Based on this description, our assessment rubric was as follows:
5 = has all the qualifications 4 = breaks the mold; people who have things we couldn’t have predicted we wanted, and should be considered. 3 = has 3 out of 4 qualifications 2 = has 2 out of 4 qualifications 1 = 1 out of 4 things 0 = not qualified
Initial Review: We divided the applications between the three of us as they came in, for the initial review. When we started we thought we would collectively review 3s and above, but as it became clear we were clearing 500 applications, we decided we wouldn’t review 3s, and instead created a subcategory “3?” requesting second opinion from one of the other two of us. Estimated total hours spent: 36 (12 for each organizer) reviewing, 15 (7.5 for two organizers categorizing and managing in streak), 5 for one organizer mail merging communications to keep applicants posted = 56
Establishing short list: We met via video for a 6 hour meeting and reviewed approx. 150 candidates who were 3?, 4, or 5. From these, we moved people into three interview categories or moved them back into 3 if we decided they were not interview worthy. Estimated total hours spent: 6
Interviews: Because we ended up with 81 candidates amongst these three subcategories, we decided to add an additional stage, where we gave 32 candidates 15 minute one-on-one interviews. From these we selected 8 who we gave 30 minute interviews with the three of us. Then we had 45 minute interviews with four finalists. Estimated hours spent: 8 for first round interviews, 5 for second round interviews, 3 for final interviews, 4 for decision making = 20 hours
Notification and Contracts: Once we made the decision on who to offer the contract to, we had to actually offer it, take care of the contract, and then follow up with all the other candidates, including offering regional ambassadorships (more below). Estimated hours spent: 10 hours
Total Estimated Hours: 92 hours
Staffing updates and funding reallocation
Given the incredible depth of our applicant pool, and the remarkable set of skills and experiences that each of them would bring to the project, after much introspection and thoughtful debate we decided that what we think will be best for the project, and for the larger community, is to hire one of the finalists as our project coordinator, and invite two of them to provide some targeted consulting.
Brittany Oliver: works at the ACLU of Maryland and co-organizes with a number of community-based art organizations such as the Monument Quilt. Most recently, she became involved to help organize the 20th Anniversary of the Million Woman March for October 2017.
Daniela Capistrano: storyteller, multimedia wizard, media literacy activist and founder of POC Zine Project. She has provided production support and digital strategy for all screens for companies such as MTV Networks, Discovery, Current TV and Al Jazeera America.
We reallocated 60-80 hours total (or 30-40 hours per consultant). This shifted one month of pay from the Program Coordinator position, which made sense since we started a month late after the committee's delayed decision to fund us.
We considered this role part of the core leadership team of Art+Feminism. At the recommendation of our grant officer, Evans managed McKensie's human resources needs (including timesheet approvals, individual monthly meetings and answering any pressing questions).
Further refinement of the reporting process
Work completed so far
- Standardize process for gathering post-event metrics for immediate reporting to press
- Standardize process for identifying and supporting articles that might need more support post-event.
We've leveraged the expansion of our digital community to distribute 2017 calls for participation. Below you'll find specific bullets that describe our strategies for making our workflow more efficient in our outreach to previous participants and new communities of A+F organizers.
Work completed so far
- Reached out to national chapters, related Wiki projects, and the Wikipedia community in general to build better lines of communications
- Reached out to other thematic gender gap groups and interested parties to share our materials and best practices.
- Announced the debut of the Call to Action Art Commission program. Each year, an artist will be commissioned to create a Creative Commons licensed artwork. Divya Mehra was selected for the inaugural commission.
- Women in Red held an Art+Feminism edit-a-thon, which took place through the month of March.
- Improved scalability and make things more self-sufficient.
- Collaborated with regional ambassadors Stacey Allan, Amber Berson, Melissa Tamani, Mohammed Sadat Abdulai, Addie Wagenknecht and Richard Knipel.
- Brought on consultants Daniela Capistrano and Brittany Oliver to take the lead in developing intersectional strategies to help us meet our goals for community growth and overall project awareness.
March 2017 Edit-a-thons (The Event!)
Programs and Events Goals: goals to expand the 2017 Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon by
- Continue to train new editors, facilitators and event organizers
- Increase participant diversity
- organizing one large NYC edit-a-thon on March 11, 2017 at The Museum of Modern Art
- coordinating many node edit-a-thons around the world in March, 2017 with a total output of 6000 Wikimedia articles added or improved
- targeted outreach to post-secondary institutions nationally and internationally
Work completed so far
- Post-secondary outreach: targeted outreach to post-secondary institutions nationally and internationally, with a focus on HBCUs, major state universities which have not previously participated, European libraries, and locations that have not held edit-a-thons previously.
- Performed extensive outreach to international librarians and HBCU librarians. See Google drive folder of outreach.
- Additional Support for Organizers
- Invited artist and activist Chloe Bass to lead a webinar on dealing with interpersonal conflict in activist organizing contexts
- Created mobile-friendly organizer's kit in English and in Spanish.
- Held drop in office hours for node organizers
- Established Call to Action Art Commissioning program. Each year, an artist will be selected to create a Creative Commons licensed artwork that edit-a-thon organizers can use to promote their events.
- Train the Trainers
- MoMA Event
- Panel Discussion with Kimberly Drew, Joanne Mcneil, and Zara Rahman
- There was a series of informal conversations during the afternoon, led by Interference Archive, AfroCROWD and The Black Lunch Table, and Maryland Institute College of Art Digital Initiatives Librarian Jenny Ferretti and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Reference Librarian and Archivist Alexsandra Mitchell, and a collectively run working group on power structures in notability guidelines on Wikipedia
- Dashboard page: 132 registered attendees, and we estimate 250 folks came through the event overall. 10 Articles/drafts created. 168 Articles improved.
- Our hashtag #artandfeminism was the 5th top trending hashtag on Twitter during our event at MoMA
- Increase in participant diversity over last year's event
- Node Events
- Over 2,500 participants at more than 200 events around the world
- created or improved nearly 6,500 articles on Wikipedia, almost twice the output of the 2016 events
- Events held in 42 countries
Over 2500 participants at more than 200 events around the world participated in Art+Feminism’s fourth annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, resulting in the creation or improvement of nearly 6500 articles on Wikipedia. This represents almost twice the output of 2016 events.
Alongside the central event at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the 200+ events were held across every inhabited continent and in 42 countries. First time organizing institutions included Open Foundation West Africa in collaboration with African Women Development Fund, Accra; Spelman College, Atlanta; Transgender Europe in collaboration with Artists Without a Cause and Room 4 Resistance, Berlin; Griffith University, Brisbane; Bryn Mawr College; Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; National University of Ireland, Galway; Women's Library and Information Centre Foundation, Istanbul; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Oslo National Academy of the Arts; Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montréal; PLATFORM, Munich; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Parsons Paris; Maus Hábitos, Porto; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, San Juan; The Royal Armoury, Stockholm; Gardiner Museum, Toronto; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
Highlights of the 2017 Edit-a-thon include content added to Wikipedia pages for niv Acosta, Hilma af Klint, Morehshin Allahyari, Xenobia Bailey, Rebecca Belmore, Hannah Black, Octavia E. Butler, Lygia Clark, Andrea Crespo, Leslie Hewitt, Christine Sun Kim, Deana Lawson, New media art, Sondra Perry, Paul B. Preciado, and Martine Syms.
Due to circumstances out of our control, we do not have a detailed metrics breakdown at this time. We will provide this in our final report..
We are currently awaiting a response to our May 8th request to Wikimedia DC for the full financial report. Once we receive it, we will add it here for your review.
Please find the full report of our spending here, Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.
We were able to use the Dashboard, though it was largely untested for a campaign of this size and breadth. There's a lot of potential there, especially in terms of reduction of organizer workload when it comes to gathering data, but there were lots of challenges moving all of our organizers off of a not so great platform that they had finally understood (Meetup pages) onto a new platform that they didn't fully understand and that didn't have everything they needed.
- Fast, semi-real time stats. It definitely made our stats collection easier by delivering lists of usernames for ~80% of the events. It was symbolically/emotionally resonant for all participants/organizers to see the numbers tick upwards on a daily basis, and to see their own event's data. We still ran wikimetrics, because the dashboard presets do not track all of the activity we need to cover (too constrained by time).
- More streamlined but not quite perfect joining process: We no longer had edit conflict problems, like with meetups, so we were able to ask people to sign in during our trainings. We still had some issues (see below), and at MoMA we noted that there was a greater discrepancy between signed in users (~130) and head count (~250) than in years past, which leads us to believe that dashboard is easier to use once you get there, but maybe harder to find as a participant, and thus leads to an undercount.
- Reduced lead organizer labor: it Significantly reduced the amount of time It took to manage the events. It empowered new organizers to create their own events, which they felt unable to do in past years using the meet up page system. Also reduced the amount of time that we needed to spend in organizing all of the events on the meet up page.
Integration with Streak and Wordpress
We maintain two other databases of events: Streak and Wordpress. Streak is our customer relationship management tool that contains all of the contact information for all of our current and past organizers. We use this Gmail based tool to perform all of our communication with our organizers. At the strong recommendation of our UX Review from last year, we switched our main point of interface with our events from our on wiki meet up page to our new Wordpress website. This website has individual cards for each of the events, Is searchable by region, and organized by time. Thus we had three separate DBs: wordpress, streak, and dashboard. We tried to reconcile these programmatically, but were not successful. We ended up doing it manually which meant lots of work, and human error.
Event organizers feedback
Here is a summary of feedback that comes from node organizers, and from the lead organizing team:
- Short URL: We really need a Short URL to be automatically created for each event! It is really difficult if not impossible to ask users to type that long URL in.
- Start/End times: somewhere between 5-10% of the events had issues with the start and end time of their event. In many cases this was a time zone issue, but the more problematic were events starting after the finish so locked out. Two concrete suggestions: The code should be able to do a simple calculation and check to see whether the end date is before the start date, and if so alert the user and not allow the submission of the form. Secondly the code should check for all contributions on the day of the event, rather than for the specific three or six hour window specified in the start and end times. This would ameliorate the problems of time zone. We understand that there are some questions about "accuracy" in the concern that there might be others that are doing "other" Wikipedia work that day, but we find that the majority of the work done on a given day is in the spirit of that particular editathon. In fact we find that for most of our participants any further work they do over the next month is also in the spirit of the out of the phone, as we specify it as a one-month block.
- Sorting events: As campaign managers we had difficulty sorting, changing and deleting pages. You can't tell what the location is, because that is in the institution field; that needs to be searchable. or displayed on this Campaign view.
- Duplicate events: People are creating duplicate events. This causes some confusion! They don't know how to delete. And they don't have permission to change the title of their own events. Users should have permission to edit their events that they have created.
- Events Missing campaigns: Many people failed to attach the AF2017 campaign. All events created with the A+F program template should automatically have the AF2017 campaign attached.
- Article lists: No one really was sure how to handle article lists. The system built in to Dashboard comes from Wiki Ed, but doesn't really make sense for AF. Many organizers have long term lists, and it doesn't make sense to type them all in (100s of articles). New organizers are unable to learn this second new system, so don't use it.
- Legacy meetup pages: We had challenges with people wanting to use meetup pages. We had spent 3 years training our organizers to use meetup pages, and then right as they started to get comfortable, we asked them to switch horses. Some (10%) stuck with meetup pages, or used both. This was a drag on our reporting process, and also required us to confirm which was the actual active one. This was exacerbated by the presence of a dozen+ additional meetup pages that were created before the full announcement went out directing organizers to use dashboard.
- Additionally about 10% of events simply declined to use dashboard or meetups to track their info, or had to reverse engineer it when we asked after the fact. This is not something we have experienced in past years...?!
Onboarding new editors
- Preload draft: If organizers add suggested articles, they should default to the preload draft template. Ideally this would be campaign specific (we have an AF artist specific one that is tagged by year).
- Delays access to user pages: It is harder than before to get people quickly to their user page, so they can add some text and blue link it.
- Unclear joining process: The join/enroll process isn't as clear as it might seem, and we think we lost a fair number of users in this process:
- The non enroll code URL doesn't have clear "join" button so we had to use a second bit.ly with the code built in (people don't realize they need to "join" and then have trouble with the code
- People thought they just had to authenticate with OAuth. They didn't understand it was a two steps process. During our sweeps of the room at MoMA we caught many people who thought they were logged in, but in fact had only done OAuth, not full login.
- We should be able to disable the enroll code for specific campaigns, or events. Or at least for a specific time period (eg week of the event).
International / localization
- Geocode notices aren't going to work for dashboard. This is how *some* local Wikipedians find out about events. You could potentially put the geocode in for the main meetup page, with notification that they should find the event on the external page?
- Dashboard is not localized beyond English. Commentary from an organizer: "As I mentioned in my correspondence with McKensie, we did not make a Dashboard event because it didn’t make much sense: the Dashboard is in English and we could not assume all our attendees would be fluent in that language."
- Latency issues: Our organizers were very confused by the latency in the dasbhoard statistics. We fielded MANY panicked emails from people who were convinced nothing was working right, because the statistics were not updating in realtime. This indicates that UX expectations are that they would be realtime. Suggestions:
- clearly indicate that "The statistics update once every X hours" directly below the list of stats
- enable more frequent dashboard data cycles on high use days. or more frequent data cycles *just* for the events that are actively happening. So the 20 events that happen on a given saturday are prioritized and are updated once an hour, while the remaining 1000 events are on the regular 1 per day cycle. (Is it actively cycling through every event in the whole system, even the ones from months/years ago at the same frequency as the ones that are more current?)
- Facilitators aren't automatically counted. We understand that in other scenarios (e.g. education courses) the focus is *only* on the participants, but here we are equality concerned with the facilitators. We would like a toggle switch for the campaign that would allow us to count the facilitators, and others to not count them.
- More detail for reverts. We would like see reverted edits on the Dashboard alert page. Right now just PROD and AfD. No idea how many edits are reverted. We recognize that this may not be possible directly from the dashboard, but may require a MySQL Quarry query.
Next steps and opportunities
- Exploring opportunities to expand the growth of our community among educators and activists.
- Developing and implementing strategies for investing in intersectional communities of new and experienced editors.
- Revitalizing our training materials and streamlining our organizer communications for the 2018 A+F cycle.
- Continuing to handle the node event reimbursement process.
- McKensie authored a Strategic Planning Document that we are reviewing and working on implementing.
We were thrilled with how many events took place this year! It felt like such a major sign of success that the project continues to grow, that people haven't lost interest. And it proves that with the hiring of our Program Coordinator, we have the capacity to do even more sustainable outreach internationally and in communities of trans women, queer women, and women of color.