Talk:Macrogrants/Wiki-Themed Symposium

From Wikimedia UK
Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion[edit source]

Thank you Greg for your application. I have let the Grants Committee know and they will offer any comments they may have soon. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:18, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Sounds ok. That's some expensive biscuits though - could Daria comment on that? Do we have any sort of draft programme? Johnbod (talk) 04:05, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
If it includes lunch, then that's reasonable - you can see their external catering prices here (I'd hope this event would get a discount though). Worth noting the venue cost seems to be waived, which is good news.
What I'd be a little more concerned about is the benefit for open knowledge movement and Wikimedia UK - the first two points of the outcomes focus much more on solely promoting University's initiatives ("Fulfil the CMC remit as a notable event in the academic calendar; Fulfil goal of contributing to launch of Digital Humanities research initiative in SAH as a means to forming a research network in Digital Humanities across Scoottish universities"). Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 12:49, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the initial feedback everyone. I can make a draft programme available if requested. The reason that I haven't made it available even in draft form yet is that I am hoping to secure an additional speaker from Open Scotland. Hopefully, re: Daria's well-considered concern about the benefit for the open knowledge movement will be addressed by this directly. I am hoping to be able to include delegates from several stakeholder groups who are either directly connected to WMUK or to an open knowledge organisation (or both), as well as those from more traditional academic backgrounds. The emphasis here is on collaboration - and as an important sideline, I really want to get my fellow academics to think in a more open way about how we generate impact, and how that can foster collaborative online work.
Re: lunch - yes this would include lunch. The venue costs have been awarded at SAH level, which is a relief. Unfortunately, I have to go with the in-house catering service, which offers a uniform price whoever is using them. But their service is rather good, particularly for an in-house firm, and the quality is the best I've seen from university catering services, considering the reasonable price.

GregXenon01 (talk) 17:28, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like it should be an interesting event without(corrected) positive outcomes for us. Having said that, I'd echo Daria's concern re: specific WMUK outcomes, to which I would add that it'd be great to know what sort of outputs the event might produce - will there be a website, livecast, twitter archive, workshop proceedings, etc.? Will there be concrete plans drawn up for future development and work (ideally including Wikimedia projects)? For our purposes it might also be useful to know who is/isn't aware of wmuk/wikimedia generally from the group, and perhaps how we might ensure they're exposed through this event, perhaps Katie/Daria/someone might add on how we've dealt with that at other events. Perhaps a useful aside, in terms of generating impact that is of course something we're interested in too, so any ongoing discussions there are something we'd be interested in (and in fact might contribute to our impact). Cheers Sjgknight (talk) 18:06, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks once again for feedback. You say that it sounds "like it should be an interesting event without positive outcomes for us". I hope you meant "*with* positive outcomes" - I'm really quite keen to engage more open thinking on the potential of wiki tools not only as educational tools, but also as a specific topic for serious research up here in Scotland, and get some dialogue going. I'll attempt to clarify some of those other issues.
In terms of outputs: the speakers themselves have all expressed an interest in contributing to conference proceedings (as have several prominent academics from all over the UK, several disciplines, who are unable to make it on the day) as an edited collection - I would welcome suggestions on this, actually, because I think that this would lend itself to an more open access form of publication. I have a network of academic publishers as part of my general academic activity anayway, so there will be some interest in traditional formats. Indeed, some of the participants (including Padmini Ray Murray, Lorna Campbell) are advocates for open knowledge initiative, as am I. I will be generating a report for publication on commons anyway, but OA may be the way forward and there are useful models, including CC.
I'm looking to colleagues who are more versed in practical applications of such things - re: twitter archive. This could be a rich resource. My department boasts a respectable journalism contingent too - not averse to generating moving image and mojo content. In terms of follow-up work, this takes two strands - first, in liaison with Toni Sant, who will be speaking at the event, to help generate a working group to contribute to WMUK presence in Scotland. There already seems to be momentum here, and it would be good to add to that - this is something that I hope will be an emergent outcome of the symposium. Secondly, my own teaching (utilising wiki workshops etc) is part of a PhD test case (not mine) and I am quite keen to keep that going in terms of generating useful data on wiki use in student contexts.
Not sure this answers some of those considerations, but I hope it makes sense. GregXenon01 (talk) 17:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Argh, sorry that's embarrassing yes I meant with not without, I've corrected that above. That all sounds great. The only condition I'd place is that as things develop it'd be good to get some planning things in place so that we can track outcomes/outputs for our impact (ideally these should be useful for all stakeholders to minimise duplication!) but I leave it to WMUK staff to advise on the operational side of that. If generating useful data on wiki from wiki workshops is something someone/you're interested in, then it sounds like a) we should be able to set something up that's useful for all of us, and b) we might be able to make use of your local expertise in our own thinking about moving forward and making best use of the mediawiki platform... Cheers Sjgknight (talk) 19:16, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
At EduWiki 2013 we received an informal request/suggestion for EduWiki 2014 to take place in Scotland. I see the event associated with this application as an excellent way for WMUK to do some much needed capacity building towards a possible Scotland-based EduWiki 2014. So, even if the immediate benefits to WMUK may not be as obvious as we'd like them to be at first glance, I'm pretty confident that without our support for this event and others like it north of the border, we'd have a hard time attracting a substantial number of delegates for a potential EduWiki 2014 in Scotland. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 12:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Hello, firstly may I thank Greg for this application and may I wish him a happy Christmas and New Year. I'm Christopher, a new volunteer to the Grants Committee and your application is the first for which I have the privilege of reviewing. I have reminded myself of the objectives of the charity, reviewed the application itself and everything that has been said so far and my main points are as follows:

  • Not all of the outcomes fit directly into the objectives of the charity. However, I think we could do with doing more in Scotland and there is enough relevance to free content and culture to justify the funding – the long-term benefits of getting students to take a greater interest in this area could be enormous, whether that be more online contributors or more offline collaboration. The key word there is "could" – perhaps there should be more evidence that this will almost certainly be an outcome.
  • One of the proposed outcomes is a conference report, which is good as if WMUK money is put into this event, we could all do with learning what went right and what went wrong, and what lessons could be learnt for future events and grant requests.
  • Subsistence costs of £15 each for speakers seems reasonable although I would appreciate clarification on what exactly this covers. The CMC are already covering speaker accommodation and travel costs so this is presumably covering some leftovers.
  • I'm no expert on mass catering costs but £1160.20 for one light lunch for 88 people (eighty attendees plus eight speakers I presume), which works out at £13.18 per person, isn't crazy but does seem a little steep. I recognize that you had no choice but to go with the in-house caters and I'm happy to take your word that they provide a good service. However, someone on the outside looking in might raise their eyebrows if they read that WMUK's main financial contribution to this event was paying for lunch. I think the best way to respond to that is to point out that the SAH are covering the venue hiring costs and that in exchange the event has had to go with in-house caterers, effectivly meaning that WMUK is making an indirect contribution to the venue hiring costs.

Overall, I'm currently leaning towards supporting this application although I'm looking forward to hearing more from you. CT Cooper · talk 14:33, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Hello Christopher - happy new year to you!
Thanks once again for the valuable feedback. I'm sorry it's taken a few days to get back to you - I've been on some well-needed downtime from work, but I'm happy to answer some of your queries here. Hopefully I can give the details you need, but if there's anything else you require, then please do ask.
  • You are correct in noting that not all of the outcomes fit directly into the objectives of the charity. However, I am committed to promoting the WMUK ethos of free content, open access and so on, particularly from my own subject expertise and that of various colleagues. Where you say "perhaps there should be more evidence that this will almost certainly be an outcome" - I would absolutely welcome ideas with regards to pushing this as an outcome. The additional presence of speakers from WMUK, as well the Open Knowledge Foundation, will also go a long way to helping integrate some of our aims and objectives.
  • My feeling is that, the conference report I generate might be the first in a number of themed report that I will be working on, to contribute to the wiki community and also, importantly, potentially of benefit to WMUK in relation to further recognition of the aims and work of the charity, these kinds of outputs are starting to become more recognised in the HE sector - something I would very much like to encourage. In addition to this event, the sister-event (a wiki-themed set of workshops on one of my programmes in the department) will certainly generate output on the wiki as part of my students' educational assignment outcomes.
  • "CMC are already covering speaker accommodation and travel costs so this is presumably covering some leftovers". That's correct - the £15 subsistence cost is based upon UK research councils' daily rates for subsistence, and is intended to cover the cost of an evening meal for the speakers. In relation to the breakdown of the catering costs, these are as follows:

Catering (Sodexo): Strathmore water £60.20 Morning Coffee £164 Refreshments £180 Afternoon Coffee £164 Working Lunch A £592

  • If any of the above seems a bit steep, we can negotiate scaling it down slightly - I am open to suggestions. I would need to finalise this quite soon, however, as I will need to put the catering order in soon, as well as get the publicity for the event out asap.
  • Your final point is also correct in that the money that I hope to receive from WMUK will go a long way towards supporting the general running and administration of the event, and contribute to the costs of hosting and running such an event overall. The reasons why I have deliberately pinpointed catering as the specific costing here is largely to make the costings fully transparent and accountable, and the advice that I've received so far from colleagues here and at my institution is that a patchwork of small and medium sums of money goes far once amalgamated into a larger total. The general intention here is to make this event as good as it can be, and to appeal to a wide audience of interested parties.
I am also in accord with Toni, when he mentions that this event will help to set up future WMUK presence in Scotish education. I hope this is enough information for you to base a decision on, any thoughts welcome. I look forward to your decision. --GregXenon01 (talk) 13:32, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm surprised to see this one approved, given the lack of clear outcomes for the Wikimedia movement. Can I ask how the approval process is working behind the scenes, please? I thought it was still under discussion here. I'd suggest using something like the WMF PEG evaluation to provide a clear, public recommendation to the CE. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:31, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Mike, thanks for the suggestion, looking at models of grant making is I think quite useful. I think this discussion went on longer than normal (I thought there was something about expected durations on the guidance page but perhaps I've only heard advice verbally); perhaps a 'notice' to the effect that discussion will close within a period unless new points are raised could be used. Of course there's a balance between making things onerous and gathering information, I'd note that the example you link to was for 10,000 euro. Just to reply to a couple of points though, I don't think any of us were saying the proposal lacked clear outcomes for the movement, but as I read it we wanted to ensure the scope of potential outcomes were followed through on with clear reporting to meet our own impact monitoring. Putting conditions on the grant is pretty standard and is part of the consideration when deciding whether to make a grant. Certainly I read the discussion above as broadly supportive of the grant by everyone, ultimately the CE makes the decision so I'm not sure whether something closer to a 'voting' model would work. This is perhaps a discussion for the Engine room, and of course relates to the spending status on grants. Cheers Sjgknight (talk) 08:13, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
If anything was happening behind the scenes, I wasn't aware of it. I do understand though that this discussion had gone on for quite a while and the request was time sensitive, so I don't have a personal objection to the chief executive coming to a decision in favour of the application, even if not quite everything had been wrapped-up. I was late to the discussion as a new appointment to the committee. Perhaps as we all get more used to this process we can become a closer team and operate at a slightly faster pace. CT Cooper · talk 17:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. Perhaps I should have said that I can't clearly see the outcomes that would benefit the Wikimedia movement here - if you had to summarise them, how would you do so? A generally good approach with committees is for them to provide clear recommendations that are then endorsed or rejected by the formal decision-maker, which is what happens with the WMF PEG program as I understand it, and it's also how the FDC works. I think something similar could work well here if the grants committee wants to adopt such a process. Perhaps it would be best discussed on the engine room page, but it might be best if someone from the grants committee started the discussion rather than myself. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:43, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the outcomes (as listed in the outcomes section) boil down to encouraging relationships expressed in a vague way. For funding of 1,200 it would be nice to see measurable Wikimedia relevant commitments that can be reported on afterwards such as writing up a Wikimedia blog post, perhaps something on the English Wikipedia Signpost and that one or more partnerships are on the cards with a commitment for follow-on events or projects. I note the conference report mentioned and a copy might be put on Commons (where it might actually be challenged as being out of scope, depending on its nature), however there is no apparent commitment to abstract it or report extracts from it in a Wikimedia relevant way, which would seem an easy win. If these commitments fail to be met, at least we would know to learn from that experience. I remain unclear what criteria in terms of delivering the aims of the charity that the CEO is applying to make a funding decision on this proposal as stated. -- (talk) 16:25, 12 January 2014 (UTC)