How can we recruit even more people to make Wikipedia a richer, deeper learning resource? For one thing, by making it easier to contribute (see our previous announcement). But, we also have to make our readers aware that their help is welcome, and ease them into taking the first steps to improving or creating an article. So, we’re funding the development of a slate of outreach resources such as brochures and videos that help people to get started, some of which target specific audiences like teachers and students.

Our partners are 27 regional Wikimedia chapter organizations, and anyone else who wants to help. Here are two recent examples.

Wikimedia Italia has funded the production of a 7 minute introductory video, “La Wikiguida di Wikipedia”. You can watch it on YouTube (with subtitles) below, or view or download the video in Ogg Theora format. It’s now linked to on every page of the Italian Wikipedia. The video was produced by Christian Biasco, and more videos are planned to be produced later this year.

If you don’t speak Italian, you may be interested in Howcast’s lovely introduction to creating a Wikipedia article, embedded below:

Produced with guidance from Swedish Wikipedia volunteer Lennart Guldbrandsson, it’s a fun and comprehensive intro, and uses Howcast’s powerful “how-to player” to guide viewers through the instructions. Howcast San Francisco, by the way, now resides in the offices previously used by the Wikimedia Foundation, so perhaps they were inspired by forgotten wiki paraphernalia. ;-)

The Wikimedia Foundation didn’t plan or commission these videos, but we’re very happy and grateful that they were made – we believe instructional video resources will be essential as we scale our efforts to recruit new editors. A big thank you to Wikimedia Italia and Howcast for leading by example. Moving forward, we are seeking opportunities to assist and encourage our chapters and individual volunteers in creating these types of outreach resources.

Erik Moeller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation