ICANNWiki ICANN61 Wrap-Up!

Here’s a quick wrap-up of our activities at ICANN61. Thanks for reading!

Edit-a-thon and Reception Dinner
The event kicked off with a packed room and brief presentation from the ICANNWiki team on the project’s mission, values and benefits to the community, including the demystification of acronyms, introduction to the actors in the IG space and inspiration to create local initiatives back home.

Over 50 participants, including 15 newcomers to ICANNWiki, hovered over their laptops, digging into the site. We were impressed at our participants ability to utilize some of our newer functionality to develop new content with minimal assistance. Many participants worked on developing their personal articles and others chose to work on a variety of other topics, including:

NPOC (Updated membership table)
NextGen@ICANN (General corrections and updates)
Youth IGF in Canada (New article created)
Internet Governance Project (New article created)

We are excited that the session was full and that attendees were engaged and prepared for the challenge of building Internet Governance content. To honor everyone’s focus during the event we held a reception dinner at a local restaurant near the ocean. Amazon, our gracious sponsor, provided us with raffle prizes for attendees who made edits during the Edit-a-thon. Four people in total walked away with fun prizes for their hard work.

The editing doesn’t stop after our Edit-a-thons though. We encourage all to work to refine ICANNWiki, a resource driven by the community, for the community. If you haven’t already, request an account and hit that ‘edit’ button!

Public Forum Comment
ICANN’s funding has been instrumental to helping the project grow, significantly increasing our capacity development work, including the global outreach and translation initiatives made possible by expanding our team. You can read more about our work in our previous blog posts.

The budget was a major topic of concern for the ICANN community at ICANN61, and ICANNWiki was no exception. ICANNWiki received significant support during the Public Comment on the FY19 Budget. We captured this outpouring of support and presented it to the Board at the ICANN61 Public Forum on March 15.

Our Amazing Booth Volunteer
We want to draw special attention to the volunteer efforts of Crystyan Ortiz at our Booth in San Juan. He is a Communications and Technology student (with a focus on graphic design) at the University of Puerto Rico’s Humacao campus.

Right from the beginning, Crystyan sprung into action–learning about ICANN, ICANNWiki and how he could contribute in a meaningful way. Cry

styan helped the team significantly, by learning how to manage the site (approving accounts, editing pages), orient others within the site and onboarding new community members.

His friendly and peaceful demeanor made it easy for him to welcome all those curious about the project, and we believe ICANN61 would’ve been more difficult and not quite as fun without him. Thanks, Crystyan!


Amigos at NIC.PR

The team at NIC.PR truly embodied the spirit of Puerto Rican hospitality. From helping us identify the perfect location for our Edit-a-thon Reception, taking the time to provide us with an Interview for the ICANNWiki Quick Guide, and working with a local university to put us in touch with Crystyan, our ICANNWiki Booth Pro.



ICANNWiki Funding Update (Questions and Answers)

The following questions and answers are an update to our January 03, 2018 article on ICANNWiki’s funding.

For transparency’s sake and to provide some context, we’ve answered a few questions that have come up since the publication of our original blog post. Read below for more.

Question #1: Why does a wiki have a budget of $160,000?

ICANNWiki is much more than a wiki, it is an organization committed to empowering the ICANN and Internet governance community. Given the importance of ICANN, our primary focus is enhancing the community’s understanding of the processes, policies and fundamental concepts necessary for participation. Our belief is that everyone should have a voice in the future of the Internet and this has led us to develop a neutral, robust and globally-minded project.

In pursuing this mission, ICANNWiki travels to every ICANN meeting, providing an engaging booth presence that focuses on the onboarding of newcomers and the development of content for our website, as well as keeping the community engaged and informed.

In addition to our presence at ICANN meetings, we spend our time between conferences focused on capacity development in the community and continuing to develop our resource, including localized content in different languages.

We do all of this, while constantly finding ways to improve and innovate our platform. This is no small task and we employ two full-time directors, and a part-time graphic designer to make it all happen.

Question #2: What will happen to ICANNWiki if ICANN chooses to discontinue funding?

To understand what will happen to ICANNWiki, it is important to differentiate between the organization and our services, including the website. The website is a central part of our work and it will not immediately shut-down if ICANN cuts the funding to ICANNWiki

However, we would have to reduce the amount of time and energy our staff puts towards site maintenance and development of content. This includes facilitating the members of our community to add the valuable content that keeps ICANNWiki up-to-date.

ICANNWiki would also have to cut back on its attendance at ICANN meetings, which is where much of our outreach occurs and where we have the most impact.

ICANNWiki and its website are dependent upon an active core of users who regularly edit or translate the content. If ICANN decides to pull funding for ICANNWiki, our decreased capacity, will undoubtedly lead to a slow, but steady decline of our site’s quality. Additionally, the capacity development activities at ICANN Meetings and beyond would be severely limited.

What can I do to help ICANNWiki?

Share this article and help the community understand why this is important. Show your support for this resource that is committed to the ICANN community! Reach out to our team if you have any ideas or questions: staff@icannwiki.com.

ICANNWiki’s Core Funding in Jeopardy

Update: In response to this announcement, we received a lot of questions from the community. We took this opportunity to answer a few of those questions here.

ICANNWiki was recently informed that ICANN might choose not to renew its contract, which accounts for 60% of our annual revenue. The contract began in 2015, with an initial three-year term, which enabled us to bring on two full-time co-directors to steward the project and improve its services. ICANN has stated, “At this time, while it is highly unlikely that ICANN will be renewing its contract with ICANNWiki, we have not come to a final determination.”

If ICANN chooses to withdraw this funding, we will face an unprecedented challenge in continuing to provide educational, capacity development and community building services.

Over the years, ICANNWiki has become associated with trust, goodwill and a little bit of fun. Our unique, engaging and reliable presence has benefitted ICANN for over a decade and will be extremely difficult to replace if it goes away. Unfortunately, this is a real possibility.

With over a decade of community work in limbo, there is a lot at stake. ICANNWiki owes its success to the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors and community over the years. With all of the time, money and resources you have all contributed to ICANNWiki, we feel it is only right to keep our stakeholders informed.

ICANNWiki benefits the community in many ways, including the following:

Keeping the Community Informed:
The website saves users valuable time, finding and understanding information about ICANN that would be very difficult and time-consuming to find otherwise. This is especially true of articles on the people and organizations. ICANNWiki provides a de facto directory service for the ICANN community that no other resource matches.

Providing Community Support and Recognition:
ICANNWiki also attends every ICANN meeting with informative and engaging giveaways. They contribute to a strong sense of community and provide well-deserved recognition for the volunteers that make ICANN’s work possible.

Helping Newcomers:
Additionally, ICANNWiki provides a track for newcomers, using content development on the website to improve skills, while simultaneously improving the resource for everyone. Beyond the conference, ICANNWiki works with different communities to develop content in their local languages.

How you can Help ICANNWiki:
If you support or have have benefitted from ICANNWiki, we are going to need your support now, more than ever.  You can help by spreading this message and making your voice heard about the value of ICANNWiki.

ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon at ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi

On October 30, 2017, ICANNWiki held another hour and half Edit-a-thon to share our project, its values and to teach a few wiki basics. We started by introducing the project and its values, highlighting the importance of a neutral point of view, transparency and being a builder.

After delving into some of the mechanics behind editing, including how to use the visual editor and how to use wiki mark-up, we then began by ensuring that everyone had an account. We streamlined this process by removing the 50 word bio requirement. Participants were able to create accounts with much more ease and were able to start contributing sooner as a result.

After this brief introduction to our project, our team chose to divide our time between helping those who wished to edit and update existing articles and those who wished to create new content. There was a higher number of participants who wished to focus on building articles on themselves, but unlike past Edit-a-thons, a few previous attendees felt compelled to dive right into building new content or editing articles that needed a makeover.

Susannah Gray created a much needed article on the San Francisco-Bay Area ISOC Chapter. The article outlines basic information about the chapter, but is a great introduction to a group that was previously unrepresented on our site. Aristide Zoungrana updated the ARCEP (the organization that operates the .bf CcTLD) logo, website and introduction statement. His intimate knowledge of the registry operator made these changes possible.

We concluded the event by encouraging participants to continue their hard work after the conference. 40 participants in all were then given t-shirts and a special invitation to our post-workshop Reception Dinner. Held at the conference center, the dinner was well attended and those who contributed to ICANNWiki during the Edit-a-thon were entered into a raffle. Four prizes, provided by Amazon, were given away.

Both of these fun events were followed up with a short survey to get a better understanding of our work with the ICANN community. A handful of participants responded. 80% had never attended an ICANNWiki event. All of the attendees understood the purpose of ICANNWiki after attending, and also felt that they received the help they needed from our team. The clarity of our presentations can improve and we will work towards communicating concepts in simple and easy to understand terms. All participants would attend and recommend an ICANNWiki event. Lastly, one participant suggested that we focus on building a French ICANNWiki. To that we say, we’re working on it!

Thanks to all those who attended. We look forward to seeing you and your friends at the next ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon and Reception Dinner in Puerto Rico this March!

Enhancing Engagement in ICANN in East Africa

It is our pleasure to present to you a summary of ICANNWiki’s program to enhance local content and engagement in East Africa. This work was accomplished in a few short months and has grown rapidly. It was with Amazon’s support that we were able to identify local needs, provide funding for general event expenses and develop a program that was educational, sustainable and scalable. Stakeholders in East Africa are now able to refine their connections to the Internet governance space and making it theirs. 

After ICANN 55 in Marrakech, a number of stakeholders from ICANN’s Fellow and NextGen programs expressed a desire to replicate the Edit-a-thon in their home countries. Specifically, Bonface Witaba (ICANN Fellow, Kenya), Oyewole Oginni (NextGen, Cameroon) and Matogoro Jabhera (NextGen, Tanzania) approached our team to build home-grown events that would incorporate local ICTs as well as ICANN with an aim to broaden awareness of relevant topics within the Internet governance space.

Internet Governance Youth Community Workshop – University of Dodoma

Much like the ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon itself, the events unfolded in a granular fashion. Two small events were held in Nairobi, Kenya, where Bonface Witaba explained the project and its goals. These two events had relatively small participation, but set the stage for our event at the University of Dodoma which had a fantastic turn-out. Event details are as follows:

Event Statistics:

  • Number of Participants: 40
  • Number of Active Editors: 22
  • Number of New Translated to Swahili: 138
  • Number of Articles Edited in Total: 145

Event Partners:

Nairobi Events

Held June 6 and 17, 2016 at the Paris Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Full summary here.

The overarching aim was to translate and contribute articles through the one day Edit-a-thon session. The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June).

Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 article stubs for the day were completed).

June 17, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to translate and contribute to articles through a one day Edit-a-thon session.
 The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June). Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 articles for the day were completed).However, following the technical hitch with the ICANNWiki Swahili server, only a few articles were uploaded. At the end of the Edit-a-thon, ICANNWiki Ambassadors Certificates were issued to the participants for their efforts. A group photo of the Edit-a-thon community was also taken.

June 06, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to create a pool of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors through capacity building in Kenya. The workshop managed to attract over 20 participants (mostly university students in the field of ICT and media). Participants watched ICANNWiki tutorials/videos as an introduction. The two facilitators showed how to navigate ICANNWiki, responsible ICANNWiki Publishing, Copyright issues, and benefits of getting involved in the ICANNWiki community. The feedback we got from the participants was that the Wiki provides them with a platform to learn about and participate in wider issues of Internet governance. Following an Internet outage at the event venue, the Edit-a-thon did not promptly take place forcing participants to resort to working offline on their articles for later uploading on the portal. Participants were able to request for accounts even from their mobile devices and expressed interest in being part of the Wiki.

12 participants expressed interest to get involved on the Swahili platform with the remaining 8 insisting on working on the English platform.


Strathmore University Event

Held September 16, 2016 Opened by: Mr. Chris Momanyi, ICANN Fellow and Strathmore University Lecturer

The primary objective of the workshop was to build a community of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors. The workshop attracted 25 participants, all Strathmore university students. Students were taught how to navigate ICANNWiki platform; start new articles, edit articles, search for articles.

A total of 35 new articles were created on the platform, with the top two contributors (5 articles each) getting free .ke domains and 1 year hosting from KENIC.

Participants also received ICANNWiki merchandise (T-shirts) (see annex III – Event photos) KENIC presented branded .ke notebooks and pens to the participants. The workshop was officially closed by our host Mr. Chris Momanyi at 16:00.

Participant Feedback & Recommendations

At the end of the workshop, Mr. Chris Momanyi recommended that Strathmore university host ICANNWiki once a month for edit-a-thon sessions with the students (for up to a year) in the quest to help achieve the set 2000 articles target out of the total 10,000 milestone. Mr. Momanyi urged the students to strive to contribute 5 articles on average per edit-a-thon,and 1 article a week.

The students were delighted with the ICANNWiki ambassadors programme, the contributors reward plan, and vowed to meet the various set targets to be eligible for certificates, community manager/administrator status. Additionally, some students requested that ICANNWiki starts an “internship programme” that can contribute towards their academic credit, and or open up job opportunities within ICANN/ICANNWiki space. One student from Zambia (Brian Phiri) requested that ICANNWiki launch a project in Chichewa language for the benefit of the Zambian audience.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity to expand Internet governance in East Africa!