Campaigns/Foundation Product Team/Event Creation

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Community Content Campaigns

Project Vision

Now that the Campaigns team has created an event registration system, we are planning to build an event creation tool. With this tool, we hope organizers will be able to simply fill out basic information about their event in a form, and then a page will be automatically generated with no need for complex editing or formatting. Organizers will have the option to include or not include registration details (via the event registration tool) on their event pages. All of the event pages created through this tool will be in the Event namespace.

We envision that this project will improve the process of event creation and visually enhance event pages to make it more identifiable than a common wiki page. This way, organizers can lead more events with less effort, and participants can have a more inviting and engaging event experience.

At present, some organizers choose to create event pages entirely off the wikis. For some, using a third-party platform simplifies the process of collaborating with partners or institutions that supervise these event pages, especially when organizers feel uncomfortable creating event pages on their own.

This project centers on encouraging more organizers to create their event pages on the wikis. People should feel encouraged to continue to also create event pages in other spaces to help spread the word about their event. But it is our hope that, if we simplify the event creation process, organizers will want to have an on-wiki event page.

What are event pages?

In Wikimedia, event pages usually refer to a web page where all details of an event can be found. People learn more about an event through these pages. Often, it also serves as the registration where interested participants can join. An event page can be as simple as a page on the outreach dashboard or a more complex one that includes a detailed description of the event goals and timelines. Though these pages vary in structure and style, their purpose is to provide information about an event, its objectives, when it will start, when it will end, how participants can actively participate, and how they can reach out to its organizers.

How are event pages structured on the wikis?

Currently, these are the usual type of event pages created on wikis:

  • Singular, stand-alone page (Earth Day 2022 meetup): these events are singular, stand-alone events that do not repeat and are not a part of a larger event initiative on the wikis. They often have the most flexibility in terms of how they present information,  since they do not need to align with any larger campaign.
    Recurring events (Women in Red (WikiProject) and Women in Red at University of Edinburgh): These events happen regularly (such as once a month). Each month may target a different topic or focus area. Participants may not need to register for each event, since they are registered for the recurring event overall.
  • Global or multi-wiki events with sub-events (Wikipedia Asian Month, Wiki Loves Monuments, and Wiki Loves Africa): These events tend to span across multiple wikis, so they can be experienced by people who are editing in multiple languages, countries, or communities. They may have a global organizing committee or judging panels in addition to a local organizing committee for the sub-events. The sub-events may happen in different times and locations, and they may be structured a bit differently.
  • Singular event page that is a part of a global event (WikiGap Prague 2020, WikiGap Philippines 2020): These are event pages that are tied to a global event, but they have their own independent structure and organizing style.

What are typical components of an event page?

Some common elements usually found in many event pages include event goals, timeline, communication channels, meet-up schedules and a step-by-step guide on how volunteers can join. Global event pages are more comprehensive, containing a proposed topic list, references and additional information on how to locally organize a similar event.

Basic Components

  • Header / Banner
Event page: Home

  • Navigation menu
At the top of the page (visit page)

At the middle of page (visit page)

At the side of the page (visit page)
  • Event goals
Event page section: Goals
Defines the scope and target of the event and usually specifies how a participant can contribute.
  • Event details
Event page section: Community events - Logistical information (date, time, location, links to join video call, etc)
  • Image gallery
Event page section: Gallery - Galleries can be a collection of event photos and/or collection of submissions
  • FAQs
Event page section: FAQ

Organizer tools

  • Registration list
Event page section: Registration
  • How to organize events
Event page section: How to organize - A guide on how a local organizer can create event for their community
  • Worklist
Event page section: Worklist - List of target topics and tasks to accomplish druing the event.
  • Event rules
Event page section: Event rules - For writing challenges, this usually refer to guidelines on how contributions will be scored.

Participants Tools

  • How to join
Event page section: How to join - A section providing instructions on how participants can join.

  • Resources
Event page section: Resources - A section with list of introductory resources for beginners in preparation for joining the event.
  • Social or office hour
Event page section: Office Hours - Invitation to social or office hour
  • Event recap
Event page section: Previous events - Links to previous iterations of the event.

Tools for communication

  • Connect with organizing team
Event page section: Connect with the organizing team - Information on how an interested user can connect with either the organizers of an event. For global events, this is an opportunity to connect with organizers running the same event in different countries or wikiproject.
  • Discussion
Event page section: Discussion - A page where any user can leave their questions and suggestions about the event.
  • Social media resources
Event page section: Social media resources- Images or text that have been prepared to be shared on social media

How are event pages normally created right now?

Event pages on wiki are created the same way as how an ordinary wiki page is created.  Most event pages for global content campaigns and meet-ups are created on Meta-Wiki, while local iterations of these campaigns as well as unique local events are created on the specific language wikiproject they are targeting to improve. Though some wikis have norms for page creation, there is no standardized way of creating an event page and most experienced organizers have developed practices, using complex templating systems to create a newcomer-friendly experience. However, the following steps are the common practice done by most organizers.

  • For singular, stand-alone event pages: Typically for new and unique events, event pages are drafted from scratch, and  would normally include basic information like proponents, objectives, target wikiprojects, timeline, venue and a registration page for interested participants.
  • For recurring events: Organizers tend to use their previous event page with slight revisions on its new objectives, targets and a subpage for registering for the latest event.
  • For global or multi-wiki events: Global content campaign organizers create event pages on Meta-Wiki with additional space for inviting affiliates and individual organizers to organize a similar event, advice on which tools can be used in tracking progress, links to guides on how to locate specific editing tasks and a page linking to other local events.

Local organizers usually transport and translate a global event page from Meta-wiki to their own local wiki projects,  adding pages for registration and supplemental information relevant to their own local event.

What are the current problems with event pages?

  • For organizers, they can be difficult and frustrating to create: Right now, organizers typically need to manually create pages with wikitext, templates, and whatever other options are available to them. The problem is that they are creating an event page with an editor that is meant to create encyclopedic articles, so they don’t have the most useful or intuitive tooling. As a result, organizers often spend a lot of time creating event pages, and the success of the final product depends on the experience of the organizer. Some pages may look like what the organizer roughly envisioned, while others may still be severely lacking, but the organizer doesn’t know how to improve them.
  • For prospective participants, they are often not visually appealing, inviting, or inspiring: Most event pages look like modified Wikipedia articles, more or less. This is not the fault of the organizer; it’s what is typically possible for organizers at the moment. However, the end result is a page that isn’t typically very inspiring and inviting, especially for newcomers to the wikis who do not understand the intricacies of Wikimedia communities and practices.
  • For prospective participants and observers in the larger Wikimedia movement, the vision and impact are not always clear: For newcomers who are unfamiliar with concepts like edit-a-thons, the vision and goals of the event may  not be clear. They may see a wall of text and not easily understand concepts such as: the event targets newcomers, the event provides training, the event is meant to be engaging and fun, etc. For more experienced organizers, the specific calls to action and intended impact of the event may also not be clear in some cases, depending on how the organizer structures the page and its contents.

What is the impact of these problems with event pages?

Due to these problems with event pages, some of the following may be occurring on the wikis now:

  • Organizers often spend too long to create event pages, which takes away from their time that could be better spent on other things (such as developing programmatic content, promoting the event, etc.)
  • Organizers may feel frustrated and burned out, and they may be less likely to create events in the future
  • Since there are no standardized event pages or structures for organizers to draw from, each organizer needs to “reinvent the wheel” and build out their own event page, which means they may miss out on some beneficial structures or practices that they would like to include, if they only knew about them
  • Event organizers frequently feel forced to design event pages outside the Wikimedia ecosystem, making it hard for on-wiki community members to see events and understand their goals and approaches to contributing. This can lead to conflict between on-wiki communities and organizers.
  • Prospective participants may be discouraged from deciding to register for events, since the event pages may look intimidating, uninviting, or unclear in terms of goals
  • People who register for events may be less likely to attend the events since they did not feel particularly inspired or motivated by the event page
  • Once events are finished, it may be more difficult for Wikimedians to understand their vision, goals, or impact due to insufficient information or a confusing structure of the page

How can this project improve the situation for organizers?

  • Greater efficiency in organizer workflows: We want to make it easier for organizers to create event pages. The organizer can fill out a form with information about the event, and then a page can be automatically generated that has many of the typical components of an event page in place.
  • Integration with event registration tool: The organizer will have the option to use the event registration tool on their event page. This way, they can easily allow participants to register for the event. Other features of the event registration feature include the ability for participants to register publicly or privately and an automatic confirmation sent to participants.
  • Integration with the Programs & Events Dashboard: If the organizer chooses to use the event registration tool, all publicly registered participants will have their username added to a dashboard event created by the organizer. The organizer can also have the link to the dashboard event displayed on the event page through the event creation process.
  • Improved user experience for participants: People who come to the event page will be able to more easily understand that the page is an event page (not a Wikipedia article) and will potentially feel more inspired or excited by the page. As a result, they may be more likely to sign up for events, share event pages with their networks, and actually attend the events.
  • Greater transparency regarding events within the Wikimedia movement: Right now, some organizers choose to not create event pages on the wikis. Sometimes this is because they do not feel comfortable creating event pages, or they worry that the event pages they create may not be inviting to newcomers. If we can improve the process of creating event pages, then we can have more event pages on the wikis and therefore provide greater transparency as a movement around all of the events that occur and their impact (such as participation rates, contributions, etc.).
  • Future integration with worklists: In the future, the Campaigns team would like to launch a project that focuses on event worklists. Specifically, we want to improve the process of creating worklists for events. Once we have worked on this project, we can find ways to integrate the worklist creation process into the general event creation process.

Open questions

Thank you for reading our analysis. Now we want to hear from you! We kindly request that you respond to the questions below (or share any other feedback!) on the project talk page:

  1. What do you think of our plan to create an event creation system? Do you think it would be useful to you, as an event organizer and/or participant?
  2. What do you think of our analysis of the current event creation processes? Are we missing anything important to you?
  3. If you are an event organizer, how do you usually create event pages now? What does and doesn't work well with your current system? If you could change one thing about it, what would it be?
  4. If we create an event creation tool, how would you like it to work? Please provide as many details from what you would like or, if you have them, examples from other registration tools you have used before!
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Your feedback is very important to us and it will directly impact the choices we make as a team. Thank you, and we look forward to reading your comments!