Individual Engagement Grants to unlock 12 new projects

A new group of Individual Engagement Grantees will be starting to experiment soon, boldly piloting new ideas aimed at improving Wikimedia’s projects and online communities.

This round, the Wikimedia Foundation is supporting 12 projects led by 16 grantees with countless volunteer participants from around the world. For the first time, Individual Engagement Grants are funding mobile app development, Wikipedia research, and projects aimed at improving Wikivoyage and Wiktionary. And we’re excited to learn something new from each new initiative.

Our grantees are excited to begin these new projects too!  As grantee Paul Weiss put it, “Having the support of the community makes me even more motivated to do the research. And feeling accountable for delivering useful results back to the community is a positive thing for me. I expected to be happy if the proposal got funded, but, frankly, I am kind of surprised at how much the news is affecting me!”

For the rest of this year, grantees will be building new tools and strategies for engaging contributors in Wikisource, Wiktionary and Wikivoyage, and surfacing more reference materials for English and Telugu Wikipedians. They’re creating mobile apps aimed at engaging new readers and long-time editors of Wikipedia, and researching Wikipedia’s gender gap and category systems. They’ll aim to grow communities around senior centers and multilingual medical content, and pioneer new ways to encourage Wikipedians to mentor the next generation of editors. And they’ll be sharing their findings on meta-wiki over the coming months, so that we can all follow along.

User:I JethroBT, grantee for Reimagining Mentorship

Introducing Wikimedia’s round 1 2014 Individual Engagement Grantees:

    • Making Telugu Content Accessible, led by Santhosh, funded at 104,000 Rupees.  Santhosh will be creating an online catalog for the Digital Library of India’s collection of Telugu books and making it available to editors of Telugu Wikipedia in search of new sources.
    • Medicine Translation Community Organizing, led by CFCF, funded at $10,000. The project aims to improve volunteer systems and build sustainable community processes for integrating translated medical content into Wikipedia’s various language versions.
    • Open Access Reader, led by Edward Saperia, funded at $6550. This project will experiment with easier workflows for Wikipedia editors to access relevant open access research for use in articles.
    • Optimizing Wikimedia Category Systems, led by Paul J. Weiss, funded at $9750. The researcher will use quantitative analysis and user studies to investigate English Wikipedia’s category systems, providing the community with data to shape future improvements.
    • Promoting Wikivoyage, led by Tammy Bennert, funded at $600. Tammy’s project is our first foray into funding Wikivoyage; she’ll be experimenting with effective and sustainable strategies for engaging tourism bureaus to contribute to English Wikivoyage.

The Pronunciation Recording project envisions an easy-to-use tool

    • Pronunciation Recording, led by Rillke with participation from Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV and Infovarius, funded at €1450. The team is building a tool allowing contributors to easily record the pronunciation of a word for use in Wiktionary.

ZoomProof, Tool for Armenian Wikisource

    • Reimagining Wikipedia Mentorship, led by I JethroBT, Soni and Gabrielm199, funded at $22,600. The team is piloting a new mentorship experience for Wikipedia with the aim of improving 1:1 connections between new and experienced editors.
    • Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia, led by Vojtěch Veselý with participation from Vojtěch Dostál, Václav Šulc, and Jan Sokol, funded at 160,000 CZK. The group is developing a pilot program to engage digitally-literate senior citizens in editing Czech Wikipedia.
    • Tools for Armenian Wikisource and beyond, led by Xelgen with participation from HrantKhachatrian and Mahnerak, funded at $7600. This project is organizing a group of developers to build tools to automate time-consuming tasks for Wikisource contributors, making it easier to proofread and digitizing books. The project’s main target is the Armenian Wikisource, while maintaining a global vision of creating useful tools for as many languages as possible.
    • Wikiquiz, led by Addis Wang, Mys 721x, and Ericmetro, funded at $1070. A quiz app will be designed to encourage readers to interact with Wikipedia in fun new ways. The team aims to increase “Wikipedia addiction” in China, and their findings could inform other language communities to do the same.
    • WikiTrack, led by Hari Prasad Nadig, funded at $2500. This mobile app is aimed at active editors, allowing users to track watchlists, Recent Changes, revisions and Special pages on the go. WikiTrack is already used by thousands of Wikipedia editors in India, but a grant will allow the team to improve existing features and extend the app to cover all Wikipedia languages as well as Wikisource and Wiktionary.
    • Women and Wikipedia, led by Amanda Menking, funded at $8075. This researcher will investigate Wikipedia’s gender gap, providing the community with qualitative and quantitative data to better assess existing efforts to address thegap. Although the focus is on English, she aims to provide a model for future investigations in other languages.

To everyone who contributed to this round of grants with proposals, ideas, feedback and suggestions: thank you!

The next call for proposals opens on 1 September – we look forward to seeing more of your ideas and engagement again soon.

Siko Bouterse, Head of Individual Engagement Grants