12:15 - 13:15
The Community is Your Friend

Short thesis

Some communities are fluffy. Some communities are less so. And some communities are infamous for their non-fluffiness: Wikipedia is one of them. Still, Wikipedia can be one of the most enrichin, inspiring and happy places on the internet. It's possible to tame the trolls and uncover the unicorns. Wikipedia can be a thrilling ride on pink fluffy unicorns towards the rainbow. And all the lessons learned in Wikipedia can be applied to other communities as well. Trolls can be tamed and unicorns can be uncovered.


I love my community members. All of them. I have to. It’s my job. But this is not about me. This is about a long and exciting journey through the dense forests of mistrust, up against high mountains of community pride, along tightropes of being inside or outside, through the minefield of community discussions. It features evaluation desparation and volunteer dedication. It is a journey that is designed to lead into the happy meadows of constructive, creative collaboration.

The Wikimedia movement has several programs worldwide and some established procedures for volunteer support. The movement has spent years on outreach. But little does it know about inreach - the art and technique to support the existing community from within. Inreach means to offer support, help communicating, trigger discussions, moderate hotspots.

Drawing from the experiences of being active as professional in comunity communication in a proud and indepedent community: Will it blend? How far will it go? How far should it go? Where is the limit of community acceptance? Where is the limit when community empowermemt becomes community dependence?