Wikipedia as community service
In many schools, community service hours are a required part of student work. If you are in this situation, and fortunate enough to be able to choose your project, consider Wikipedia as a way to give back to the global community.
Disclaimer: It is unlikely that you will be able to count Wikipedia as community service in the context of serving a criminal sentence.
You will likely have to convince your teacher/instructor of the merit of this project. This may be difficult given the untraditional nature of this community service and lack of understanding about what Wikipedia is. A few recommendations/talking points:
- Show them Wikipedia, live.
- Explain to them what Wikipedia is and how it works:
- A collaborative encyclopedia
- One of the top 50 sites on the Internet (!)
- Run by a non-profit organization, supported largely by user donations.
- Freely accessible
- Follows the principles of open source software.
- Licensed so that it can be freely copied, modified and redistributed in any form.
- Make a plan of what you want to focus on contributing (next section).
- Have everyone involved register an account so their contributions can be tracked.
- Use one person's User Talk page as a coordination point for the group. List articles you are working on, etc.
Ways to Contribute
- Articles on topics of local interest.
- Articles on topics relating to your course work.
- If you are fluent with a language other than English, there is no shortage of work for you. Wikipedia is availible in over 200 different langauges, many of them are a fair bit smaller than the English version.
- Photography. You are free to take a picture of something, upload it, and add it to an article.
- Remember Wikipedia's sister projects, Wikibooks, Wikitionary, Wikinews etc.
- Wikipedia:Community Portal always has ideas for tasks to be done.
Your teacher may want proof of your contributions. While there is no way to prove exactly how much time you spent, your User Contributions page can give a good idea of what you've done.