Monday, February 23, 2009

Community-Building Meeting Recap

There was a very cool, if small, community meeting in #wikibooks on Friday afternoon. Originally it was intended to be a live meeting for members from en.wikibooks to get together and work on a few issues and develop a few ideas. Very few members of en.wikibooks ended up attending (scheduling was a major hurdle in that regard, I think), however, but several members from other Wikibooks language projects did show up. I tried to log the meeting, but my IRC client apparently silently failed to save the file, so I didn't.

There was good representation from fr.wikibooks and de.wikibooks. We talked about several issues that seem to be affecting all Wikibooks projects, and didn't talk about issues that were restricted to en.wikibooks only. We all generally agreed that holding such meetings more regularly would be a good thing.

Some of the issues we talked about were:
  1. The problem of community non-involvement, where the vast majority of wikibookians are silent authors and do not participate in meta discussions with the larger community.
  2. The need for more multimedia. Science books need more diagrams. Language books need more audio clips. Several books need videos. Also, we talked about the idea of making screencasts about using Wikibooks to supplement our existing help documentation. We are looking for lots of help in this department from people willing to make and upload such videos.
  3. We talked about book donations and ways to pursue them
  4. We talked about finding ways to attract new contributors to Wikibooks, and how to retain them.
  5. We talked about a lot of small miscellaneous issues as well.
I would like to try to schedule a similar meeting for the en.wikibooks community only to talk about some of our specific issues, and I would also like to schedule a followup multilingual meeting for sometime next month to stay in touch with our international Wikibooks friends. Both of which, I'm sure, I will be writing about in the coming weeks.

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