Stakeholders: People who work with the open source software MediaWiki in their own organization, company or business. There is an active MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group. Stakeholders are more power-users than developers, and they can be a great addition to your participants list at your hackathon. They also can help you build a network of potential sponsors. They are commercial or non-commercial MediaWiki users outside of the Wikiverse, who have a mainly professional interest and are either good network partners and/ or potential sponsors for tech events in your area.
Related articles in this handbook: Finances and sponsoring
Strategies to reach out to Stakeholders
What do Stakeholders want?
- Stakeholders have an interest in the further development of the software, they benefit financially (directly or indirectly, because it is part of their business model or their internal infrastructure) from the development of the software.
- Stakeholders are potential sponsors.
- They want:
- Contact to developers.
- Be seen in their industry.
- Get arguments for their superiors of why using open source is more beneficial than proprietary software.
- Exchange with other stakeholders
- Get to know best practices ("How are others solving this problem that I have?")
1. Find out who’s using MediaWiki and actively seek them out
Since there is no registration for when you’re using MediaWiki, and since it’s often used as an internal knowledge-management tool, there is no official list of MediaWiki users.
You need to actively seek them out with own web research and the help of network-partners such as the MediaWiki Stakeholders Group, or other open source experts group in your country or area (e.g. in Austria: the Open Source Experts, a lobbying-group in the Austrian chamber of commerce).
Issue a call-out
Write a press release that invites all the users of the MediaWiki software to make themselves known to us.
- This can be spread via news-portals, such as heise.de or golem.de (with the help of the MediaWiki Stakeholders Group).
- Spread to network partners such as above expert groups internal mailing lists etc.
- Regular PR / press work done by your chapter
2. Accommodate them into the Wikiverse, make them want to be seen
Set up the network: Create a website (landing page) where they can register / enter their contact details, company details.
Ideas for the website: “Proud users of MediaWiki”, their company logos and maybe pictures/faces / testimonials, with a brief statement why they like MediaWiki and how they use it in their business model.
During this whole process, establish personal contact (not an office@ or welcome@ address, but an actual person) and show that you appreciate them.
3. Let them participate and create opportunities to be actively involved
Idea: Set up a special track at the hackathon for them.
The goal is to extend your network to these people who have access to more resources. When they experience a hackathon and become part of the community, they will be much more inclined to support Wikimedia – with money, in-kind donations, and their knowledge and contacts.
They will get to know some of the developers personally, and when you ask them e.g. to sponsor the pizza-party, they will have a personal connection to our community and will much more likely help out than if you had approached them “cold”.
With this database you can establish a long-term network of business-contacts. They will need some tending to, so while the organizational matter (invite them to events, make sure they are up to date with current infos, etc.) will be handled by the you chapter's team, the involvement of experts such as the WikiMedia Stakeholders Group is crucial for all their content-related (i.e. MediaWiki software-related) questions.
Stakeholders' Track at the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017
In collaboration with the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group, the organizers of WMAT set up a special conference track.
It was especially interesting to sponsors, and we could get funding for it.
Find more details about it on the website we set up for it: https://www.wikimedia.at/hackathon/fantastic-mediawikis/