Grants:Project/Dr. Blofeld/Contest toolkits and prize funds

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Contest toolkits and prize funds
summaryA project to cover both the making of toolkits and ready-made contest ideas for others and to run one world women contest and a UK/Europe contest myself.
targetEnglish Wikipedia
type of grantonline programmes and events
amount6,025 USD
granteeDr. Blofeld
contact• Dr. Blofeld
this project needs...
created on11:50, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Explain the problem that you are trying to solve with this project. What is the issue you want to address? You can update and add to this later.

Overall, the consistency and readability of wikipedia is still generally poor, and 59% or more articles are stubs. There is a tendency for editors to neglect older articles. With over 5 million articles in English alone and an editor base of 30,000 active editors, a large number of articles have remained undeveloped for years. There are roughly 44,000 stubs for the UK and Ireland alone. Currently, Women in Red notes that less than 17% of English wikipedia biographies are about women, and there is a natural bias towards women of certain occupations and world areas.

What is your solution?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing.

  • Create toolkits with a full set of instructions and work material to enable editors to custom make their own contests for a given area which needs editing (Examples: Wikipedia:Contests/Toolkits/Destubathons (stub reduction), Wikipedia:Contests/Toolkits/Debloatathons (more concise/improve sourcing etc).
  • Develop a catalogue of “ready-made” contests for a range of world areas and topics (Examples: Wikipedia:Contests/Ideas/The National Finnish Contest, Wikipedia:Contests/Ideas/The Asian Women Contest). This will enable editors to simply move contest ideas into the mainspace and start them with minimal input, and maximize the chances of spreading what I've achieved to date. Both the toolkits and contest designs will be developed within the Wikipedia:Contests workspace.
  • Run contests for Women and UK/Europe personally to contribute to the overall quality improvement and reduction of systematic bias of Wikpedia articles. Both the toolkits and the contests planned will target weak areas of Wikipedia and give an incentive to improve content and work. Developing a contest framework will also work in coordination with Wikimedia's current Development Strategy, aiming to make Wikipedia a more consistent and more respected resource long term, particularly for the higher importance articles. (See talk page)

Applicant type[edit]

Is this grant being requested by an organization, a group, or an individual?


Target project[edit]

Which existing Wikimedia projects and language versions will be better served or impacted as a result of this project?

Mainly English Wikipedia, but the women contest may involve other wikis such as French and Spanish, depending on what interest is shown. Iberocoop is currently benefiting running on Spanish Wikipedia and a number of others, so the World Women Contest would follow in its footsteps and compliment what has already been achieved to date.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually.

  • Ongoing development of a contest directory and toolkits for a range of different areas and topics, including the development of contests to benefit existing grant schemes such as Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Africa by providing a means to distribute the photographs and create articles using photos. I will invite different groups to adopt different contests to host. There is already significant interest from contributors to the Challenges I created from across the world.
  • Tackle systematic and gender bias and motivate editors to produce articles on women for every part of the world. For Women in Red, I hope this contest will kick off a long-term 100,000 Challenge for women bios, a vehicle to surpass 20% women biographies on English Wikipedia within a much shorter time frame than currently projected.
  • Promote the growth of contests from my designs to steadily work to reduce the number of stubs and poor quality articles long term, making Wikipedia an overall more consistent, comprehensive resource.
  • Develop a long term Wikimedia Movement Strategy to support the goal of Wikipedia becoming "The Most Respected Source of Knowledge" by 2030 through encouraging contests, particularly for improving consistency and quality in Vital/Core Articles and traditional entries which might have featured in an old book encyclopedia.

How will you know if you have met your goals?

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)

For the toolkits and ready-made contests, I will consider it an achievement when full instructions and a few contest designs are drawn up and a few different people start to use the ideas to run their own contests. My past experience will prove valuable in designing new types of contests and encouraging development for different areas of the encyclopedia. For the contests I will run, I will consider each a success if over 1000 articles are improved for each.

2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.) For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal. (e.g. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents).

  • The toolkits and contest framework will have a long lasting impact on the site and allow editors long term to create and run a wide variety of contests to benefit content well into the future. That will be a success if people use my ideas to create contests during the year and beyond.
  • With the larger prize funding for this and a strong prize-based mechanism, it should motivate a wider pool of editors to edit topics they might normally contribute to and indeed provide a way to attract new editors to the project who might then contribute articles on women or UK and Europe long term. It is impossible to predict how many editors will run their own contests or participate, but for the Women Contest for instance, it would be possible to distinguish how many editors contributed who don't normally contribute to Women in Red as a group and any new editors involved, which would be noted in a report at the end of each contest.
  • If editors use the prize fund to purchase books or subscriptions which they can use to further contribute, it would directly invest back into content creation on the site and extend into the future beyond the contests.
  • Provides support to future WMF grant seekers, particularly to outside institutions in the developing world who may not have much editing or contest-running experience, making it easier for them to set up contests and optimise their results.

3. Do you have any goals around participation or content? Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, please review the link below and include any metrics that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

Total participants

Total participants 200 (across both contests)
Number of pages created or improved Minimum 2000 (for both contests)

Participation on Wikipedia is often difficult to predict, and often only 20 or 30 people can produce well over a thousand articles. In one year, I think if 5000 articles get improved as a result of my contests and toolkits I think that would be a commendable achievement. For the UK and Ireland/Europe I want to set a 1000 article destubbing goal, which I hope will be the start of something greater long term and aim to eradicate all of our 44,000 UK stubs eventually.

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

My time will be spent creating the toolkits and designing contests which any editor can use to easily create a contest without having to put much time into it themselves. The making of these will be gradual throughout the year. For the contests I'm running myself, I’m willing to take much of the responsibility for planning and running those, checking articles and assisting contestants, though I anticipate that part of the ruling will mean that contestants also help to review articles submitted and that bots will be employed. I already have much experience running contests such as Awaken the Dragon and the Africa Destubathon which were very successful, and this grant would allow me to continue the work and spread it globally.


See finances tab for updated budget reflecting partial grant funding for this project.

USD 23,850-25,850

Item Description Duration Cost GBP Cost USD (1USD=0.81 GBP)
1 Prize fund for A World Women Contest: 195 countries with a $50 prize for most articles created for each country. =$9750. Then 11 x $100 for general overall prizes for most articles by 10 different fields of women occupations: Women in Literature, Art, Science, Engineering, Technology, Entertainment, Feminism, Leadership, Education, Healthcare, Challenging Occupations, Sport and the 11th for Most Good Articles produced. 1 month contest 8824.85 10,850
2 Prize fund for a UK/Ireland or wider Europe-based de-stubathon:, $5000. 134 counties with a $30 prize for most articles destubbed for each county = $4020. The remaining $980 will be split into several prizes for most articles done for a given subject such as women bios, geography, castles/houses etc, likely $300 allocated to three general prizes and the remaining $80 towards people who review the most articles. A European contest would be split into 47 countries and prizes given in a similar fashion to work done for given subjects. 1 month contest 4072.65 5,000
3 Developing a contest directory and toolkits: For the long term development of a contest directory and making of contest toolkits. Drawing up a wide range of contest designs which can be immediately useable will require considerable ongoing effort, far beyond what I could reasonably contribute as a volunteer. I believe that it's important development work for the site, meta-wiki type development and not standard editing. Ongoing through the year. 6505.65- 8132.06 8-10,000
Total 19,319.91 - 21,319.91 23,850 - 25,850

Community engagement plans[edit]

Community input and participation helps make projects successful. How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve during your project?

As with the successful Africa Destubathon which attracted 118 contributors and produced 2041 articles, I will see to it that contests are widely publicized. I will actively approach potential contestants for contests using my toolkits, starting with the worldwide framework I’ve already set up for 10,000 Challenges for different continents.There is already interest in contests for Asia, North America, Europe and Finland.


Please enter your username here. If your team has more than 1 grantee, you can add more people below.

Dr. Blofeld

Primary contact[edit]

Please provide an email address (or a username that can receive email) that we can use to contact you. This will be shown publicly. User:Dr. Blofeld at English Wikipedia.


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

I will take charge of developing the contests and running the ones I've proposed. One of the site's most active editors since 2006 in attacking systematic bias and core article neglect, I know exactly how to go about encouraging production for areas which need work and how to attract editors, with 118 unique contributors to the African contest alone. I think that the toolkits and ready-made contests will make running contests more palatable and attractive for other volunteers and make it easier to join and become a part of what I’m doing.

I’m certain I will have volunteers to assist in running some of the contests (names to be confirmed) and that running the contests will be sustainable. A concern with the African Destubathon was that it was time consuming to run, but all of my contests will be designed with a bot to check article length and sourcing, or/and participants become involved in checking other contestant’s articles to lighten the workload on the main organiser. A bot to check article length and sourcing was successfully run for Asian Women Month, and I will be looking for a similar device to make running these efficient. These contests, particularly the World Women one, will certainly attract a considerable number with a larger prize fund. Given that the Destubathon produced twice the number of articles on larger funding than previously, I am very keen to see what contests on $5-10,000 funding can produce and indeed whether this will attract more active editors.

Community notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • An excellent proposal. Jaguar (talk) 18:44, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: Wikipedia's poor coverage of women would benefit greatly from this project. As a keen member of the EN WikiProject "Women in Red", I consistently monitor the creation and development of biographies on women and articles about their works. Current interest is hardly adequate to bring about a noticeable increase in the number and quality of articles. I am convinced a contest with prizes would lead to enhanced coverage, not only in regard to Europe but throughout the world. Furthermore, the possibility of using the tools developed to create contests would provide a basis for covering other areas of interest requiring attention.--Ipigott (talk) 11:45, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: I support this proposal. The contest idea has been socialized by Dr. Blofeld at WikiProject Women in Red, there's been opportunity for discussion, and we are ready to try a new campaign which will further content creation. It is in alignment with our scope -creating women's biographies and women's works, broadly construed- and it will be run by a seasoned member of our community who has proven he knows how to create and run a contest. The toolkits, templates, instructions, and so on will allow Wikimedians to replicate prior successes. --Rosiestep (talk) 17:14, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support:Contest appears to be an innovative means of addressing the systemic lack of content on notable women. As a contributor from Mexico, with limited access to traditional means of sourcing, I am particularly in favor of the prizes being ones which can allow for added reference materials to be acquired. Expanding availability of reference materials will continue to allow creation of articles in the future, thus giving the project long-term life. Having participated in several other of Dr. Blofeld's projects, I can endorse that his methods have proven effective. SusunW (talk) 19:32, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support:I've very much enjoyed several contests run by Dr. Blofeld, and can attest that he puts a lot of effort into thinking through how to make them interesting, productive, and welcoming. They have consistently pushed many of us to create better content, to select subjects outside my comfort zone, and to improve long-neglected stubs. This seems like several steps in the right direction to me. Penny Richards (talk) 13:41, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: I have also enjoyed participating in the destubathons and similar competitions ably organised by Dr. Blofeld. Contests such as these are excellent for increasing cover in Wikipedia for topics and areas that need more attention. The toolkits, templates and instructions will help others in the future who seek to run similar competitions. Cwmhiraeth 13.36, 8 March 2017
  • Support: I think this is a wonderful idea. I've seen the fruit that can be borne from a well-run destubathon, and Dr. Blofeld has proven that he knows how to run such a contest. I agree that it can be used to target areas which really need work, and has the potential to generate much good and useful contest. --Ser Amantio di Nicolao (talk) 14:29, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse: Contests like "Awaken the Dragon" have been shown to generate enthusiasm, making some editors contribute more than they would have otherwise. A toolkit that helps people running a contest build on what has worked before will make the contests more effective. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:57, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse: I worked with Dr. Blofeld on the 'Awaken the Dragon' campaign, and was astonished by the level of engagement it attracted. The whole campaign was well managed and a huge amount of quality new content was produced in a short space of time. I think offering prizes is a fantastic way of encouraging new and established editors to focus their attention on a common cause. Jason.nlw (talk) 11:53, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse : Initially a bit hesitant on the concept of numerous micro-prizes, it turned out to be quite successful. I enjoyed participating to the Africa Destubathon and agree it would be nice to replicate such collective effort. I am happy to do that under the leadership of James, as an individual and as part of the Wiki Loves Women effort. Two practical notes : "iberocoop is not a contest" and "are you sure you really want to push for the term debloatathon ? Vaguely reminded me of a certain Lewinsky..." Anthere (talk)
    • Thanks, haha, I know what you mean on the "Blo" part ;-), "Debloatathon" =, you know those poor quality, bloated articles with gigantic chunks of text and little or no sourcing. There's a lot of that, many B class articles need cutting and rewriting, particularly on major towns and subjects which attract a lot of traffic, just an idea anyway towards purifying the encyclopedia. Those contests would be designed to target the core of the project and important articles towards GA status, could be part of a Core Article contest. Major cleanups, rewrite/resourcing etc. Dr. Blofeld (talk) 13:48, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Thanks Anthere for the mention, I was curious about micro-prizes as well. For reference, the successful experience mentioned is w:en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa/The Africa Destubathon/Leaderboard. I wonder if it will be possible to find multiple (serious) contestants for every county in the UK... I guess we'll see. And yes please, try to look for unambiguous names. Nemo 17:47, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse: I've worked with Dr. Blofeld on various projects since 2014. Since 2016 he has been running editing contests to improve Wikipedia's content, with some support and feedback from Wikimedia UK. He has a great deal of experience in this area, meaning he is particularly well placed to prepare the toolkits, and the outcomes of previous contests have shown how effective this approach can be. In particular the most recent project was the Africa Destubathon, in which more than 100 people improved more than 2,000 articles, far exceeding the initial targets. This is largely due to Dr. Blofeld's efforts in motivating people and getting a large audience involved. WMUK endorses this project as it has the potential to greatly improve Wikipedia's content. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:56, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse As far as I know, we have limited evidence/case studies about whether prizes like this can increase participation. So it would be interesting to observe what happens here. Blofeld has significant experience running contests, and I think he could do a good job with organizing these contests and creating related documentation. One possible variation on this might be getting winners to pledge that their winnings will go to acquiring reference materials (or agreeing to give their winnings to someone else who would use them to buy reference materials). I'm a former IEG committee member and think this is a very promising idea. Calliopejen1 (talk) 16:14, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
  • The contest directory and toolkits will be invaluable, Dr B has a huge amount of experience. John Cummings (talk) 21:32, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse: This is a great proposal and am hoping it will make a big impact on integrating the images raised by Wiki Loves Africa (and similar projects) into meaningful contributions on existing Wikipedia articles, or starting new articles across the Wikimedia projects altogether. Islahaddow (talk) 10:59, 30 May 2017 (UTC)