Campaigns/Foundation Product Team/Registration/Background

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How campaign registration currently works

We have identified several registration solutions that are currently being used, including:

On-wiki solutions[edit]

Manually adding username[edit]

Some registration processes require participants to manually add their username or signature on-wiki. For example, see Wiki for Human Rights 2021 in Morocco or Women in Red events in the screenshot examples below. The advantage of this approach is that it is integrated into existing wiki workflows, and information on registrants is publicly available (example). The disadvantage is that it gives minimal information to organizers on participant needs, and it's not intuitive for newcomers.

Participants asked to manually add their username in Wiki for Human Rights Morocco
A separate participants section, where users manually add their signatures, for a Women in Red August 2021 event

Technical hybrids[edit]

Some organizers have built elaborate technical fixes for registration. For example, CEE Spring has a multi-wiki bot that aggregates data across multiple local events. Al Maarifa Project requires each user to generate a subpage that is then queried by a script. These solutions can be useful for specific campaigns, but they are hard to adapt or reuse across communities. They also depend on maintenance by “in the know” technical volunteers, who may eventually stop maintaining the tools, creating challenges for long-term technical support.

Off-wiki, proprietary solutions[edit]

Third-party registration forms[edit]

Some organizers use third-party forms, like Google Forms, to register participants. The advantage is that the forms are easy for organizers to configure and for participants to fill out. The disadvantage is that they are removed from Wikimedia workflows, and they have varying privacy and open source policies. Participants cannot see registrant information either, so they have little understanding of how to connect with other registrants. Also, these platforms are not universally supportive of languages and cultural contexts. In smaller language communities or at-risk contexts, these tools often prove challenging to use in an inclusive and safe way.

For example, a Black History month event to Celebrate Women Leaders in the African Diaspora, organized by Wikimedia Nigeria, African Women on Board, and AfroCROWD, used a Google Form for registration. See screenshot example below.

Registration instructions on a Black History Month Women Leader's event page, which directs users to a Google Form.

Third party registration platforms[edit]

Some campaigns use third-party platforms, such as Eventbrite or Meetup, for registration. The advantage is these platforms offer feature-rich and highly customizable experiences. The disadvantages are the same as those for third-party registration forms.

For example, in the screenshot below, the Vaccine Safety Edit-a-thon, organized by Wikimedia District of Columbia and Wikimedia Mexico, provided a link to register on Eventbrite.

Event page that links that links to an Eventbrite registration page.

Tools built for campaign tracking[edit]

Programs and Events Dashboard[edit]

The Programs and Events Dashboard, developed by the Wiki Education Foundation, is a tracking tool. Some organizers use a third-party tool, which is followed by registration on the dashboard. For example (screenshot example below), you can see these steps in the Africa Wiki Challenge. In other cases, organizers use the Dashboard as their one and only registration tool.

The advantage of the Dashboard is that it's a metrics tool, so it's already integrated with tracking. The primary disadvantage is that it's not an actual registration tool. It provides minimal information about participants to organizers, and it provides minimal support to participants. Also, the dashboard is not used as a metrics tool for all campaigns, since many campaigns prefer different tracking systems.

Instructions on how to participate provided by the Africa Wiki Challenge event page


[1] ([Fountain tool|documentation]]), developed by Le Loy, is a tracking tool used by some campaigns, such as Wikipedia Asian Month. The advantages and disadvantages are the same as those found in using the Programs & Events Dashboard. Additionally, the tool, similar to on-wiki registration, is challenging for newcomers and is best used with experienced editors.

Example of using the Fountain tool to search for campaigns related to "women"

No formal registration[edit]

Some campaigns do not include a formal registration process, but instead track participants through some consistent action in an on-wiki workflow.

Registration via upload process[edit]

This is especially common for photography contests, such as Wiki Loves Monuments or Wiki Loves Folklore, in which registration is essentially built into the tracking process. When someone uploads a photograph and tags it for campaign tracking, they are effectively registered. This format works for some campaigns, but it’s not useful for all campaign types, especially for those targeting newcomers or writing articles. It also doesn’t collect additional information on participants, which may make communication and follow-up especially challenging.

Screenshot example Upload Wizard used for Wiki Loves Monuments (after competition)

Registration via Hashtag[edit]

For #1lib1ref and Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos (#WPWP) and a handful of other program activities, the Hashtags Tool acts as a default registration tool. Like with the upload process, there is benefit in that it captures contribution data. However, because hashtags are not deeply integrated in the editing interface, it’s difficult for newcomers to understand the action, and even experienced editors may forget to add the hashtag because it is not part of their regular workflow. Additionally, it is difficult for organizers to keep track of contributions in real time, and no information is directly provided on participants and their needs.

Example of using a hashtag in an edit summary, which can be used for tracking later via the Hashtag Tool
Hashtag tool, which can be used to search for edits based on hashtags